Industry News

Safety Series Seminar focuses on Materials and Personnel Hoists

The latest in the series of Safety Seminars was held in CTC’s Hot Leasing facility on Wednesday, 25th May. Around 60 people representing various sectors attended the seminar which highlighted safety issues and concerns around Materials and Personnel Hoists.

Industry experts Stuart Davis, Principal Adviser from Workplace Health & Safety Queensland and Dave Van Der Poel, QLD/NT Sales Manager with Alimak Hek shared their knowledge and provided interesting insights around construction hoist safety.

materials hoistIn his talk, Stuart advised that there are very few incidents involving hoists, partly due to the good safety standards. The danger though is that complacency can develop.

He noted that there had only been two serious incidents, both of which related to equipment failure. The first event was catastrophic – the counterweight came off killing the operator, and the second the drive plate locked and the hoist fell, resulting in the operator’s back being broken.

The major danger relates to the potential of falling objects. Should bolts not be installed or tested properly, they can fall off. When commissioning, it is important to specify the tests to be conducted i.e. drop test, emergency stop, brake test and others as mentioned in the standard.  Also be conscious of wind speed. Whilst the hoist is secured to the building, this should still be considered as to when the wind speed is too great to safely operate. Another item to consider is where to place the wind meter.

Stuart also briefly reported on the potential changes to the Queensland Tower Crane Code of Practice which is part of the national processes under review. Stuart was part of the working group tasked with this review.  Key points are that major (10 year) inspections will remain and advertising on tower crane booms will no longer be permitted.

Dave Van Der Poel presented his insights on behalf of Alimak Hek – a publicly listed company which developed the first rack and pinion drive hoist.

In layman’s terms, his said a hoist is a machine developed to transport goods and people vertically.

The 300 kg materials hoist available in CTC’s Hot Leasing facility is an example of a smaller unit designed to transport materials only. People are not permitted to travel in this in Australia, however in other overseas jurisdictions, there are not the same stringent safety requirements. For example, in India, people could be transported in a 300 kg materials hoist.

The efficiencies gained by using the larger hoists are being seen by builders of the large scale towers. In the past, cranes would be required to move material such as plasterboard to the next story being constructed. This would require a crane and multiple personnel including doggers and riggers to move the boards to the desired location. It is much simpler and more cost-effective when hoists are utilised.  Hoists also minimise manual handling and potential injury.

Hoists travel up the mast, which are normally secured to the building at 6m intervals. The landing door arrangements are important requiring compliance with a number of safety regulations. The hoist has to be completely screened to full height. When travelling, the doors are locked mechanically and electronically, so the doors cannot be opened unless stopped at a landing floor. Doors on the landing and hoist are interlocked to an Australian specific standard.

In summary, the key points to take away from the seminar are:materials hoist2

  • Safety device
    • Has a maximum lifespan of 5 years
    • Critical to ensure the hoist will stop even if the drive fails
  • Maintenance
    • Critical to ensure continued safe operation
    • OEM Service is required after every 40 hours of use
    • The hoist should be checked each day as part of the start of day routine
    • Functional tests should be conducted after each project
    • Correct ties and bolts should be used to install
  • If hiring a unit
    • Installation is critical to safety
    • Check the following before allowing a unit onto the site:
      • the service records are current
      • the safety device tag is current

For information about this or CTC’s state of the art Hot Leasing facility, visit our website

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