One of the key objectives when specifying load handling equipment should be to make work simpler and safer for employees. Health and safety should always be the priority but there are some significant operational and productivity benefits that can be achieved by providing operatives with suitable equipment.
The current manual handling regulations stipulate that no items weighing over 25kg should be lifted by a person on their own. When lifting or handling is regular or frequent the recommended limits are even lower. Businesses who understand their duty of care obligations and who want to ensure compliance often deploy two or more employees to handle items heavier than the recommend limits so that each person’s "share" of the lift is below 25kg. This is seldom a good use of resources and can be extremely unproductive.
A better solution is to install simple but effective load handling equipment on the vehicle. Devices such as the vehicle mounted cranes and platform lifts manufactured by Penny Hydraulics, for example, allow employees to handle all sorts of loads efficiently and economically without any need for manual lifting or carrying. As well as reducing the risk of industrial injuries and enabling compliance with regulations this type of equipment allows a single person to work on their own. This provides an instant improvement to productivity, efficiency and resource flexibility. Moreover, with no need to lift and carry items, employees will be less fatigued during the day which means they can remain alert and productive for longer.
New products this year from Penny Hydraulics include 500kg maximum working load versions of its LoadLift, StepLift and Single Wheel Lift vehicle mounted platform lifts. These were introduced to complement existing versions with 250kg maximum working load to provide owner-operators and fleet managers with greater flexibility when specifying and configuring their vehicles. They also enable purchasing departments to select equipment from Penny Hydraulics when the tender specification calls for a minimum handling capability of 500kg. The new models have been re-engineered to provide the uprated performance without unduly adding to the weight of the equipment, an important consideration for anyone configuring a new vehicle.
Earlier this year the company also introduced its new SwingLift FV995 fully hydraulic vehicle mounted crane. With its 995kg maximum working load this versatile crane is ideal for a wide variety of loads but can be specified and installed without the added cost and complexity required by the new EN12999 regulations. These stipulate that cranes with a maximum working load of 1000kg or over must be equipped with additional sensors to interlock support legs.