Q. What is a "Below-the Hook Lifting Device"?
A. A "Below-the Hook Lifting Device" is a sling, hook, magnet or vacuum device, beam or fabricated structural device that is suspended from the hook of an overhead crane or hoisting device and used to lift an object. They are also sometime referred to as overhead lifting devices but this terminology would also include the hoist or crane. There are specific industry standards for Below-the-Hook Lifting Devices and different ones for cranes and hoists.
Q. What regulations apply to manufacture and use of an overhead lifting device?
A. In Canada, there are no specific, federal regulations, such as a Canadian Standards Association (CSA) standard, that apply to Below-the-Hook Lifting Devices. Provincial regulations vary between the jurisdictions. However, all will place the onus on the employer to ensure that the device is suitably designed to ensure the safety of the worker and that only a competent person operates the lifting system components.
APEX recommends that employers adhere to the recommendations of the ASME Standard B30.20 Below-the-Hook Lifting Devices as a major element of their due diligence strategy.
Q. Does a lifting device have to be "certified" and what does that actually mean?
A. There is no regulatory definition of the term "certified" as it pertains to an overhead lifting system or a device which is used between a crane hook and a suspended load. However, the term implies the provision of a certificate. At Apex, we provide a Certificate of Test and a General Arrangement drawing for each custom lifting device we produce. Both documents list the industry standards to which the design and manufacture conform and a licensed, Professional Engineer, individually signs them and applies a seal to the drawing.
Q. What does OSHA mean and why is it important?
A. This is an abbreviation for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, in the USA. It mandates that an overhead lifting device be designed and constructed in accordance with the recommendations of the ASME Standard B30.20 Below-the-Hook Lifting Devices, as a minimum. A similar abbreviation, OHSA, refers to the Occupational Health and Safety Act, of Ontario, Canada. The Ontario regulations do not specify conformance to the ASME B30.20 Standard.
Q. What is a PSR and how does it apply to overhead lifting equipment?
A. PSR refers to the "Pre-Start Health and Safety Review", a requirement of the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) regulations, in Ontario, Canada. The regulation requires that a Professional Engineer verify that all hoisting systems, including cranes and "lifting devices", comply with the applicable OHSA regulations. A Professional Engineer signifies compliance by applying a seal (also referred to as a stamp) to an engineering drawing of the system or device.
Q. What is the significance of Design Factor and how is it used?
A. Design Factor or Safety Factor, as it used to be called in the industry, refers to the numerical value, which is used in engineering calculations when determining a rated capacity or Working Load Limit (WLL) that is below the load that would cause the device to fail. The ASME Standard B30.20 recommends a Design Factor of 3:1, based on the yield strength of the load supporting members of the device. This means that a bending failure will begin at a load that is 3 times higher than the rated capacity for the device.