The International Powered Access Federation last week welcomed the position paper issued by the Fédération Européenne de la Manutention Product Group for Cranes and Lifting Equipment, which states that cranes should not be used for lifting people except in exceptional circumstances where safety requirements have been fulfilled and undertaken at the specific responsibility of the user.
FEM is the European manufacturers’ association for material handling equipment. In its position paper dated May 16, (document FEM CLE MC N 0284) the FEM Product Group for Cranes and Lifting Equipment states that: “Mobile cranes shall never be used for entertainment purposes, e.g. lifting of persons for shows, bungee jumping, dinner-in-the-sky or lifting of other structures with people on the structure or underneath (e.g. lifting of tents)! Mobile cranes are not intended to lift persons; they may be used to suspend personnel in man baskets only in unique work situations when it is the least hazardous way to do the job.”
The position paper echoes an earlier statement from the United States-based Association of Equipment Manufacturers Power Crane and Shovel Association, which states that: “Cranes are not designed, manufactured, or intended to handle personnel for either construction work or recreational activities. They are designed to lift objects, not people.”
PCSA is one of the product groups of AEM, which has more than 800 members. These statements come in response to a potentially dangerous trend where some entrepreneurs have used cranes to lift people to great heights for recreational purposes, such as dinner-in-the-sky and bungee jumping.
“Purpose-built powered access equipment is an infinitely safer and more precise method of providing access to carry out temporary work at height,” said Tim Whiteman, IPAF CEO. “Compare this with a basket suspended from a single crane rope which may well blow around in the wind. As these manufacturers have made clear, cranes should be used for lifting loads, not people.”
IPAF is a not-for-profit members’ organization that promotes the safe and effective use of powered access equipment worldwide. Members include rental companies, manufacturers, distributors and equipment owners. More information is available at www.ipaf.org.