Mobile Lifting Gantries - Moving under load

Here at SELS we work closely with the designers and manufacturers of lifting gantries. In line with the recommended Code of Practice for the Safe Use of Lifting Equipment, section 11 as written by the Lifting Equipment Engineers Association (LEEA).  The off-the-shelf gantry product range is not designed for movement of the structure under load; it has been designed for vertical lifts only. However, it is common practice for a client's competent person to assess special lifting requirements and provide risk assessments and method statements that would specify the appropriate controls to ensure, so far as reasonably practicable, that a safe system of work can be implemented.  This may include dialogue and advice from the manufacturer and some equipment or variations on standard equipment to meet their requirement.

In order for SELS to meet the customers total requirements we would need to know specific detail concerning the environmental and terrain conditions, where the Gantry is to be used, how the Gantry is intended to be moved (whether manually or powered) and any other factors that the customer feels may influence the use of the gantry.

Appropriate controls

When moving a gantry under load - prior to preparation of risk assessment and method statement the competent person may consider the following:

  • The lift operator and supervisor must be trained and competent.
  • The environment must be suitable. The gantry can only be manoeuvred on an appropriate surface under complete control at all times; the surface as a minimum should be flat, level and stable ( e.g. concrete or steel - though must have adequate strength and stability.)
  • Floors should be free from debris, stones or other similar obstacles, oil or grease and any other obstructions / trip hazards
  • Ensure weather conditions are appropriate, visibility is good with particular attention to potential wind loadings
  • All persons must be fully aware of their responsibilities during the lift / manoeuvre and ensure that other persons working in vicinity do not conflict with the operation.
  • Lift and travel should be slow and under control, never allowing the load to swing, also keeping the C.O.G as low as possible.
  • Never allow a person to place any body part under a load being lifted or transported or allow a person to work in such a position that if the gantry was to become unstable or out of control the person would be in its path.
  • To mechanically manoeuvre the gantry by means of a lever hoist etc should be a consideration as this may give accurate and more precise control. Powered manoeuvring of the gantry will keep the gantry restrained, preventing any unintended movement.
  • If the gantry is to be manually manoeuvred consider pushing rather than pulling the gantry as this will increase visual awareness, decrease tripping hazard and keeps the operatives out of the path of a moving load.
  • Take care not to trap any body parts or clothing.
  • During the manoeuvre keep vigilant; ensure that path for the Castor's is kept clear as obstructions i.e. tools etc may be accidentally knocked into the path of the moving gantry.
  • Keep watch that no part of the gantry or load becomes snagged or caught, this is particularly important with powered movement of the gantry.

Please note - This is not a 'checklist' or 'Recommendation'. The competent person must identify all hazards and mitigate the risks and plan / implement the lift accordingly.

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