Q. What is an adequate Design Factor?
A. This depends on the severity of service, the anticipated life expectancy of the device, dynamic loading conditions and the chance of exposure to an overload situation. While the ASME Standard B30.20 recommends 3:1 or less for devices made from structural steel components, other ASME standards for slings, hooks and other hardware recommend values as high as 5:1. In Ontario, Canada, a 5:1 design factor is specified in OHSA regulations pertaining to the construction industry.
For consistency and superior, long-term reliability, APEX uses a 5:1 design factor in all designs unless specific circumstances dictate otherwise. A design factor, lower than 3:1, will not be used.
Q. Do lifting devices need to be proof tested prior to being used?
A. The ASME Standard B30.20 recommends that Below-the-Hook Lifting Devices be proof tested at 125% of their rated capacity prior to initial service. However, this may not be practical or even possible for some devices so the design verification by a Professional Engineer and the quality of manufacture are even more important in these cases.
Q. How frequently do lifting devices need to be inspected?
A. Only a competent person should operate and inspect a lifting device. By knowing the tool features and how it should perform, damage or malfunction will be recognized. The operator should inspect the lifting device prior to each use. The inspection result must be recorded and kept on file at least once a year.
Q. What documents should I expect to receive with a purchased lifting device?
A. At APEX, we provide a General Arrangement drawing, sealed by a Professional Engineer, for each custom designed lifting device we produce. A Certificate of Test is also provided in most cases. Both documents list the industry standards and government regulations to which the design and manufacture conform and a licensed, Professional Engineer individually signs them. A generic Operating Guide is also provided.
Q. How should a lifting device be marked?
A. The ASME Standard B30.20 recommendations for marking include, manufacturer’s name and address, serial number, capacity, tare weight and date of manufacture. As well, specific operator warnings about operation must be clearly visible on the device. APEX follows these recommendations.
Q. Who is held responsible for the proper design, function and use of a Below-the- Hook Lifting Device?
A. The employer is always considered either fully or partially responsible for any accident resulting from the incorrect design, function or use of any equipment that results in worker injury. The employer must ensure that equipment is safe to use for its intended purpose, that workers are properly trained to use it and that the employees are properly supervised. Supervisors and managers can be charged with a criminal offence if found negligent in the protection of worker safety.