Safety features to insist on – Part 2: Engineers
- Post by Marcus Henning
This one might sound slightly strange, but another major factor to consider is whether or not your unit was designed by an engineer. Considering how dangerous this kind of equipment can be, there are a surprising number of goods hoist suppliers that just make a plan in the factory without any calculations or analysis performed by qualified engineers in the background.
Most of the time, a make-a-plan unit will hopefully work out okay, provided that it was manufactured according to a comprehensive set of regulations, subject to strong quality control in the factory, inspected by a qualified and experienced and attentive lift inspector, and provided that a very similar unit was installed previously and didn’t break or cause issues after a few months etc.
However, goods hoists are generally quite highly customizable and typically carry high loads. Consequently, at some point a make-a-plan unit is going to catch someone out and cause a major issue. When that happens, one can only hope that nobody is seriously injured or killed.
Additionally, goods hoists impose large loads on buildings. The loads that everyone understands and expects are the vertical loads through the shaft sidewalls. However, goods hoists also impose horizontal loads on building walls both during loading and typical use, and especially during emergency safety gear operation. If your building is not designed to handle these loads because your supplier didn’t mention them or know about them, then you risk extensive damage to the property. Alternatively, if your goods hoist supplier provides inaccurate force values, you run the same risk, again with significant consequences.
Another reason to insist that at least one mechanical and electrical engineer designed and checked your unit is to ensure that there is suitable safety feature redundancy. The reality is that all components have a maximum lifetime and will need to be replaced at some point. When a component eventually breaks, it is critical to know that there is still a backup safety feature in place to prevent damage, injury or worse.
If you have any doubts about the technical competence of your potential goods hoist supplier and would like to increase your confidence in them, a few important questions will typically determine whether you can trust them or whether you should avoid the risk of partnering with them. If you need some help determining what questions to ask, please feel free to contact our engineering team who will happily assist.