The LEEA (Lifting Equipment Engineers Association) has modified its guidance on the use of hand chain blocks at an angle to the vertical.

In a statement, the association said, “Whilst previously advising against any such use, the new guidance reflects the fact that some hand chain blocks are now designed to be used in this manner. Furthermore, the LEEA believes that, in certain applications, standard hand chain blocks can be used safely at an angle to the vertical, if an appropriate risk assessment is conducted and additional precautions observed.”

Despite the changes, the UK-based LEEA is stressing that the new advice does not mean that all hand chain blocks can routinely be used at an angle to the vertical.

The individual characteristics of each application must be carefully assessed. In addition, the LEEA is also highlighting the fact that, in some cases, devices such as lever hoists and jaw winches may be more appropriate than a hand chain block. The LEEA’s updated advice also includes a list of special precautions that should be observed if a hand chain block is used at an angle to the vertical.

Commenting on the revised guidance, Geoff Holden, LEEA chief executive, said, “These changes bring COPSULE up to date in terms of the range of hand chain blocks now available on the market, and the fact that there are circumstances in which it is reasonable to use standard products at an angle to the vertical. However, the new guidance should certainly not be regarded as a green light for the routine use of hand chain blocks in such applications.”

Full details of the new guidance (Document No. LEEA 053) can be found at www.leeaint.com

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