Safety and efficiency key for wind working

Lifting equipment There are two key pieces of legislation that applies to all lifting equipment and accessories that may be used in the wind energy sector in Europe. Credit: LEEA

The regulations for working safely and efficiently with lifting equipment in the European wind energy sector have been highlighted by the performance and special projects manager at the Lifting Equipment Engineers Association (LEEA).

Denis Hogan explained there are two key pieces of legislation that applies to all lifting equipment and accessories that may be used in the wind energy sector in Europe. The Machinery Directive polices the market in the first instance then, when the equipment is in service, the Work Equipment Directive applies to servicing, maintenance, repair and thorough examination inspection.

A regular maintenance programme for lifting equipment “is crucial” and “not just to identify repairs but also to maintain equipment in good working order. In addition, the equipment needs to be thoroughly examined according to the appropriate regulations.”

Check thoroughly

It is also important to bear in mind the “subtle” differences between regulations of countries in which the equipment is operated, he said. For example, in the UK this means LOLER (The Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998), and PUWER (Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998).

“When designing a programme for maintenance, it is vital that the risks and the conditions involved and the environment in which it operates are taken into consideration,” he stated.

“The programme for thorough examinations may need to be at a greater frequency than is required by the Work Equipment Directive, as is the case in UK. A greater frequency mitigates the risks involved and the greater likelihood of something going wrong,” he added.

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