What is Contract Lifting? A Quick Guide for First-Time Hirers
So you’ve got a big lift job to do and you need to hire a crane. This is not something you have had to do before – maybe you’re having work done on your property, you’re having a hot tub installed in the garden, or you have a container, caravan or boat you need to lift into position.
What are your options? Clearly, you need a mobile crane suitable for the job and a qualified operator. But is that all?
While crane-and-driver hires are readily available, they are not suitable for first-time or occasional hirers. That’s because operating a crane is governed by strict regulations, which set out a list of health and safety requirements.
Included in that list is the requirement to appoint someone who is “sufficiently competent” to take charge of the planning and supervision of the job, including carrying out risk assessments, writing out method statements and so on.
In other words, there is a legal requirement to have someone experienced and qualified running your lift. Unless you use cranes on a regular basis, and especially if you are using a crane for domestic purposes, you are unlikely to have this kind of expertise.
In that case, you need more than just a crane and driver. You also need to hire someone to act as the ‘Appointed Person’ and plan and supervise the lift on your behalf. That’s where contract lifting comes in.
Contract Lifting Explained
Contract lifting is essentially a managed crane hire service. Along with the crane itself and a qualified driver, the mobile crane hire company will also supply a specialist to act as the appointed person for your job.
You can therefore rest assured that all the regulatory requirements of the lift will be taken care of. The hire company will take care of planning the job, putting together a safe system of work, writing up the required documentation, and then supervising the lift when it happens.
Contract lifting services are more expensive than straightforward crane hire, understandably so because of the extra work and responsibility taken on. But if you are tempted to cut a corner and just go for a crane hire, be warned – with a contract lift, the hiring company also takes on legal responsibility should something go wrong.
If you just hire a crane and driver, you are legally responsible for complying with the health and safety regulations. If there is an accident, if someone gets injured or property gets damaged, it falls on you. If you are found to be in breach of the regulations, for example because you do not name someone who is suitably qualified to act as the appointed person, you could find yourself in serious trouble.
All in all, unless you have direct professional expertise and experience of managing the use of cranes, a contract lift service is the only option you should look to. Your responsibilities are then simply doing your research to find a certified, well-regarded crane hire company, providing full details about what needs to be lifted and where, and they will take care of the rest. As well as this with a contract lift all insurance is covered and provided by the crane company.