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Lifting, rigging and height safety equipment must be tested/inspected and tagged by a “competent person”. Q: What is the definition of a competent person? A: A person who has acquired through training, qualification, experience or a combination of these, the knowledge and skill enabling that person to correctly perform the required task.

Inspection frequency.

1: Height safety and confined space equipment

This equipment needs to be visually inspected by a “competent person” at least every 6 months. With fall arresters and inertia reels, the manufacturer will recommend a service schedule which is additional to the regular visual inspections. This may involve sending the unit(s) back to the manufacturer where the unit is dismantled and thoroughly checked to confirm everything is in full working order, undertaking any repairs where necessary. Servicing can be required anywhere from yearly to 5 yearly although this varies from manufacturer to manufacturer.

2: Round and flat web lifting slings

These types of slings need to be visually inspected by a “competent person” at a minimum of every 3 months.

3: Concrete clutches/ Panel Lifters

Concrete clutches need to be load tested every 12 months.

4: Engineered & fabricated items

These lifting devices are required to be load tested and fitted with a unique data tag when they are first manufactured. After the first load test, a visual inspection is required annually unless there are specific concerns about the item.

5: Other items

Lifting and rigging gear not listed above, such as chain slings, shackles, material handling equipment etc. needs to be visually inspected at 12 monthly intervals.

Your equipment may need to be inspected more often depending on how often it is used. Obviously there are some items that don’t fit inside these general categories or that might have specific requirements. There are also some sites that may have additional safety procedures and requirements of their own in excess of what Standards require.

REMEMBER - Always check your lifting gear before and after every use.