This information and survey link is for any sailing site that owns an Oxford Dipper Hoist to assist people in and out of boats.

Joerns Healthcare own Oxford Hoists and on the 3rd July issued a Field Safety Notice in relation to the Oxford Dipper Hoist. The notice follows meetings with the Medical Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency and the Health and Safety Executive. The notice can be found using the following links.

The Field Safety Notice relates to corrosion in older units that may not be externally visible. Joerns Healthcare have revised the Expected Service Life statement for the Oxford Dipper, as follows:

  • The Oxford Dipper is designed and tested for a minimum service life of 5 years.
  • The maximum services life is set at seven (7) years – use beyond this may compromise both client and carer safety
  • Daily checks, cleaning procedures and six monthly inspections that are detailed in the manual must be carried out

As a result, the Field Safety Notice advises:

  1. all distributors of Oxford hoists to identify and contact facilities that have been supplied an Oxford Dipper hoist. We know this includes some RYA Sailability sites and potential a number of other ailing locations.
  2. At the next scheduled 6 monthly inspection a safe working load test must be carried out due to the hostile environment in which the hoist is designed to reside and operate – e.g. poolsides, quaysides etc.
  3. Any unit identified to be older than 7 years must be changed out prior to the following scheduled (6 monthly) inspection.

The manufacture date of a hoist is controlled by its serial number identification, located on the framework of the product. Alternatively Joerns may be able to identify the age from an original purchase order number, or a sales invoice.

The socket in which the Dipper mast is located will not require replacement.

So, within the scope of the Field Safety Notice, if you have a unit that is older than 7 years, if it has a thorough examination at its next 6 month regular check, and you risk assess it with the inspector, you can continue using it until the following 6 month inspection, when it must then be replaced.

If you continue to use a Dipper hoist used outside of the scope of the Field Safety Notice you are choosing not to follow the advice of the manufacturer. As the owner of the unit you should fully risk assess the unit’s use in conjunction with whoever inspects it, but the manufacturer will not be accountable for any decision or consequence resulting from its continued use.

The RYA recommends that if you own an Oxford Dipper Hoist you should contact the distributor who supplied the hoist, or the company who inspects it and agree a course of action with them to ensure you continue to operate within the scope of the Field Safety Notice.

Of course, this may involve significant financial outlay earlier than planned. Distributors may be offering discounts and / or credit terms on replacement units, and you should talk to them about this.

We are grateful to the Sailability sites who have brought this matter to our attention, and we wish to help in the best way we can.

A number of people have asked for further information. So we have created this short survey to:

  • Establish how many sites are using hoists, and how many own an Oxford Dipper Hoist in particular?
  • Gather information and insight about the hoists you do use, so we can offer information to Sailability sites looking to acquire a new hoist that is based on your experiences
  • Identify whether any further information or training is needed for sites using hoists and other lifting equipment

It should only take 5-10 minutes to complete. Please can you complete this by Monday 02 October. We will share results with everyone by the end of October. More information can be found here