Lift safely

The GEA has advice on buying, installing and maintaining vehicle lifts safely

Published:  03 July, 2014

The vehicle inspection lift is a key piece of equipment in the day-to-day workings of the workshop, yet it is possibly one thing that is taken for granted. Lifts have to cope with the weight of a number of vehicles, raising and lowering a number of times in a day. Therefore, it is essential that the workshop has complete trust in it, in terms of reliability and most importantly, safety.

All machinery sold within the EU must meet Directive 98/37/EC, otherwise known as the machinery directive. Most products and some equipment can be self-certified by manufacturers, however vehicle lifts must also conform to BS EN 1493:1999, the standard for the equipment. This is because they must be safe to work underneath without the need for secondary or backup equipment, such as axle stands, as well as the need to include numerous safety switches and systems. In order to obtain a CE mark, lifts must therefore conform to both directive and standard.

When it comes to installation, this process is just as important as the manufacturing process. The work may be undertaken by an installation and maintenance company rather than the manufacturer themselves, so the British Standards Institute has produced a standard for installation, BS 7980:2003. All GEA accredited installers work to this standard.

Once this process is complete, there are still standards that garage owners must adhere to for ensuring safe operation of the vehicle lift. There are two UK regulations; the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulation (LOLER) and the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations (PUWER). LOLER calls for a thorough examination of work equipment while PUWER mandates regular maintenance of that equipment.

Therefore, according to LOLER, workshop owners are required to have new lifts inspected by a competent person prior to first use and should be further examined every six months. PUWER adds that equipment should be maintained properly, with daily and monthly inspections, together with a compulsory six-month service.

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