For some, access to a hoist, along with trained and competent volunteers or staff, makes the difference between whether they can go boating or not.
Every year a significant number of incidents are reported to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) in which people are injured while being moved by hoisting equipment. The information contained in this guidance note aims to help Sailability sites ensure they have the right processes in place to prevent accidents. More information can be found in the HSE's publication 'Getting to grips with hoisting people'.
Sailability sites will use other lifting equipment and many of the same issues covered in this guidance will be relevant but may vary slightly because people are not involved.
This advice and guidance note draws on Health and Safety Executive published practice and has been externally validated by Health and Safety consultants.
Organisations and individuals have a duty of care to each other and others who may be affected by their activities. Health and Safety legislation and the subsequent regulations impose duties on employers and is aimed at protecting employees and others who may be affected by work activities.
Following the requirements of the regulations listed below is likely to mean satisfying these legal duties for both voluntary organisations and employers.
Hoists and slings are considered to be medical devices (see Medical Device Directive) and the equipment manufacturer is required to provide suitable instructions for use, including compatibility information and guidance on the checks and examinations you should carry out. In addition, there are two key pieces of legislation affecting the use of hoists:
This regulation has been prepared by the HSE for the Health and Safety Commission. It is now law under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. Its aim is to reduce risks to people using lifting equipment. LOLER requires Sites to:
For equipment used to lift people - please read the whole guide for definitions and context
There is a requirement for a competent person to examine the equipment every 6 months
Pre-use checks should be carried out at the start of any session or when there is a change in operator/s. Routine maintenance ensures equipment continues to operate as intended.
Clubs and centres have responsibility to ensure volunteers and staff are fully trained.
Each person should have a specific handling plan to match their individual needs as well as the needs of the volunteers/staff involved.
Accidents happen and can often be linked to shortcomings in knowledge and human behaviour so initiatives to share information about what can and does go wrong are invaluable.