ESTA releases first draft of Lifting Operation Risk Management Guide

The first draft of ESTA’s much-anticipated Lifting Operation Risk Management best practice guide has been completed and it out for consultation to members. Comments should be submitted to the ESTA Office by June 15.

Details were presented by ESTA working group member Blanca Claeyssens – managing director of ASA France – to the association’s Section Crane meeting in Paris at the end of April.

ESTA intends the new guidelines to help companies assess the risks involved in different types of work and give them advice on how to protect themselves using state-of-the-art work preparation and properly drafted terms and conditions.

The guide is especially aimed at smaller companies but also contains information for clients to help them manage projects safely and ensure that they give accurate and relevant information to their suppliers.

The report’s preface explains: “The aim of this best practice guide is not to reissue a set of rules and regulations for the industry, but rather an attempt, by outlining different forms of contracts and listing existing regulations and incident prevention measures, to make users of lifting equipment aware of the risks of lifting operations and protection against their consequences.”

Called the ‘Lifting Operation Risk Management Guide’, it is the result of the efforts of a number of different European stakeholders in the world of heavy lifting operations.

Apart from Blanca Claeyssens the group’s members are Marcel Schets, SHEQ manager at Mammoet; Joe Collins, heavy lift manager with Becht Engineering; Norbert van Schaik, senior lifting specialist with Siemens Gamesa and Ton Klijn, ESTA Director.

ESTA Director Ton Klijn said: “The background for this initiative was the fact that crane companies are increasingly dependent on information or auxiliary materials supplied by the customer, the reliability or integrity of which cannot always be adequately established.

“ESTA was therefore looking for an opportunity to ensure members are aware of the risks, aided by publishing a best practice guide with operational recommendations and suggestions for adapting conditions.

“We hope members and the wider industry will find the guide useful and we await comments from our members on this first draft with interest.”

ESTA stresses that the publication is only for guidance and is based on the consensus of ESTA member organizations. It is not a regulation or standard and should not be treated as such, and it cannot replace the users’ own knowledge of relevant directives, laws and regulations.