Regulations relating to lifting devices

 

Categories of lifting devices

Obligations of the employer - operator of lifting devices

Frequently asked questions

Categories of lifting devices

Designated lifting devices, category A

(Part II, Annex No 1 of the Decree No 508/2009 Coll.)

a) motor-driven cranes and lifting machines, for example with electric or hydraulic motor, with lifting capacity of more than 1,000 kg and cranes and man-powered lifting machines over 5,000 kg, including permanent crane runways and temporary rails of bracket jib cranes,

b) motor-driven mobile work platform with 1.5 m lift height,

c) lifts and lifting platforms that are permanent parts of buildings or premises, including passenger and freight lifts that are permitted to carry people, freight lifts with access to a personnel cage, freight lifts that are not permitted to carry people, lifting platforms permitted to carry people and loads, 

d) construction lifts intended to carry people and loads, freight lifts with access to a load-bearing platform,

e) storage and retrieval systems with an operator’s stand and their travelling platform,

f) escalators and moving walkways,

g) ski lifts and water ski lifts,

h) motorised extension ladders,

 

Designated lifting devices, category B

a) equipment and devices including:

1. motor-driven cranes and lifting devices with a bearing capacity of up to 1,000 kg  and man-powered cranes and lifting devices with a bearing capacity between 1,000 kg and 5,000 kg,

2. motor-driven winches designed to lift loads,

b) lifting mechanisms of motorised trolleys and loaders designed to lift and carry loads by means of binding, suspension or gripping devices,

c) supplementary lifting mechanisms for suspension or gripping of loads, which are not permanent parts of  special lifting devices listed in categories A and B, including:

1. lifting mechanisms designed to handle ISO standard containers,

2. devices for suspension or gripping of loads, such as magnets, traverse beams, suction equipment, pincers and grab buckets with the exception of the equipment listed in category C, letter a),

d) special motorised lifting equipment intended to lift loads, including:

1. lifting ramps,

2. lifting platforms,

3. stationary, mobile and portable service lifting equipment designed only to lift vehicles,

4. lifting panels designed for assembly onto or into vehicles, which are intended for loading and unloading, 

e) construction freight lifts without access of personnel to a load-carrying platform,

f) motorised vertical sliding gates with a lifting height of more than 2.7 m,

g) storage and retrieval systems without an operator’s stand and their travelling platform, with the exception of the equipment which is implemented in automated handling and storage systems,

h) man-powered stage equipment,

i) stair lifts and vertical lifting platforms designed for disabled people.

 

Designated lifting devices, category C

a) devices for binding and suspension of loads, which are not permanent parts of lifting equipment, such as hoisting slings, chains, straps, belts, hooks and shackles,

b) lifting equipment that is a part of operating equipment, such as a technological line,  machine or automated handling and storage system,

c) single-use lifting equipment used for assembly or transport,

d) other man-powered lifting equipment belonging to category B.

 

Obligations of the employer - operator of lifting devices

The employer is obliged to ensure inspections of lifting devices (checks and testing) pursuant to the Act No 124/2006 Coll., Article 9, par. 1, letter a) and the Decree of the Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Family of the Slovak Republic No 508/2009 Coll., Articles 9 and 13. Official tests are to be carried out by an authorised legal person every ten years. 

Operation of lifting devices. The employer is obliged to provide safe use of lifting devices by requesting compliance with legal regulations, fulfilling requirements specified in occupational safety and technical documentation and ensuring performance of prescribed inspections and tests according to safety and technical requirements specified in accompanying technical documentation. The employer is obliged to provide conditions necessary for performance of these inspections and tests and remove identified shortcomings. Operators of lifting devices must meet health and qualification requirements. The employer is obliged to keep operational documents and accompanying technical documentation, including test reports and inspection certificates, records of designated lifting devices pursuant to the Annex No. 4 of the Decree 508/2009 Coll. and establish operating procedures related to designated lifting devices. 

 

We carry out expert inspections and tests of designated lifting devices pursuant to the Act No 124/2006 Coll., Article 9, par. 1, letter a) and the Decree of the Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Family of the Slovak Republic 508/2009 Coll., Articles 9 and 13. Inspections and tests of lifting devices, which aim to verify their safety include:

-type (conformance) tests,

-official tests,

-recurrent official tests,

-tests carried out after repairs,

-testing after reconstruction,

-expert inspections, expert tests or other inspections and tests in accordance to safety and technical requirements stipulated in Annexes 6 and 7 of the Decree No 508/2009 Coll.

 Lifting devices are checked:

-during their operation or installation and after their completion,

-prior to their commissioning after their installation, with the exception of portable devices and devices designed for transport,

-during their operation in intervals stipulated by safety and technical requirements or specified in accompanying technical documentation.

Prior to recommissioning:

-after decommissioning that lasted longer than one year,

-after disassembly and reassembly, 

-following reconstruction or repairs of electric equipment the use of which was prohibited by the Labour Inspectorate and the protection of which needs to be changed.

 

Frequently asked questions

 

Question No. 1

Is the person who holds a crane operator certificate of class and subclass A1 allowed to operate a gantry crane with a capacity of 25,000 kg that is controlled from the ground? 

The crane operator certificate of class and subclass A1 authorises its holders to operate motor-driven bridge cranes and lifting devices which are controlled from the ground and have a load capacity of more than 5 tons. This means that the holder of A1 certificate is not allowed to operate gantry cranes. 

Cranes and lifting devices are divided into classes and subclasses according to their operation pursuant to the standard STN 27 0143, Articles 23 to 25 and Table 1 (classes A to F; class A has 4 subclasses and classes B to D have 3 subclasses). The Article 24 contains cranes and lifting devices that are not listed in the classes and that can be operated by so-called attendants.

The lists of devices and equipment in individual classes and subclasses of the standard STN 27 0143 are not comprehensive. Technical inspectors of lifting devices are authorised to include other cranes or lifting devices into individual classes and subclasses or reclassify some devices or cranes if necessary.

Question No. 2

We have a plant for repairs and maintenance of vehicles that is also equipped with motorized mobile lifting devices intended to lift vehicles. What documents do we need to operate such devices and what tests need to be performed prior to their commissioning? What inspections and tests must be carried out during their operation? Which regulations relate to these devices? 

Mobile lifting devices are defined as designated products pursuant to Article 1, par. 1, letter a) of the Decree of the Government of the Slovak Republic No 436/2008 Coll. and as designated lifting devices of category Bd3 pursuant to the Decree No 508/2009 Coll., Part II., Annex 1. These service lifting devices are listed also in Annex IV of the Directive of the European Parliament and Council No 2006/42/EC. Therefore, producers or their agents are obliged to follow the procedures stipulated by Articles 4 and 8 of the Decree No 436/2008 prior to commissioning of these devices or their launching into the market. If safety of these lifting devices depends on their installation (assembly), they must be inspected after their assembly on the spot (not in the producer’s premises) prior to their commissioning pursuant to Article 5, par. 1 of the Decree No 392/2006 Coll.

Inspections and tests during operation are conducted in intervals specified by safety and technical requirements or accompanying technical documentation.

Besides the aforementioned decrees and directive, these devices are listed especially in the standards STN EN 1494+A1 (27 0650), STN EN 1493+A1 (27 0809), STN 27 0808 and STN 27 0881. If the test of conformity was not conducted and if there is no the Declaration of Conformity, individual tests and inspections can be performed upon the request by the Technical Inspection Inc. pursuant to Article 8 of the Decree No 436/2006 Coll.

Question No. 3

Some customers, who order lifts that are to be permanently installed in buildings and other premises, demand that suppliers hand in original certificates issued by an authorised person prior to commissioning of these lifts or their launching into the market. Is this requirement justified?

This requirement is not justified pursuant to Article 10 of the Act No 264/1999 Coll., as subsequently amended, and Articles 4, 7 and 8 of the Decree of the Government of the Slovak Republic No 571/2001 Coll., as subsequently amended. Producers, their agents or importers are obliged to issue the Declaration of Conformity with technical regulations pursuant to Annex 2 of the aforementioned decree, which will also contain references to individual certificates issued by an authorised person.

Question No. 4

What changes and alterations must be done in case of older lifts that are permanent parts of buildings or premises and that had been commissioned before the standards STN EN 81-1 and 81-2, STN EN 81-1+AC and 81-2+AC came into force?

As a rule, these devices are regulated by the standards and provisions that were in force at the time of their commissioning. They are usually altered or modernised during overhauls and reconstructions.

The standard STN EN 81-80, which came to force in October 2004, defines the rules concerning enhancement of safety of existing (older) lifts that are based on the aforementioned standards STN EN 81-1+AC and STN EN 81-2+AC. 

Question No. 5

What are the basic requirements relating to design, production, conformity testing, launching into the market and commissioning of work platforms (cages) for industrial front forklifts (hereinafter referred to as “forklifts”) and work platforms (suspended cages) for cranes? 

Pursuant to Article 1, par. 1, letter b) of the Decree of the Government of the Slovak Republic No 436/2008 (hereinafter referred to as “the Decree”), work platforms (cages) for forklifts and work platforms (suspended cages) designed for cranes (hereinafter referred to as “work platforms”) can be regarded as replaceable supplementary equipment that is connected to lifting devices by operators, e. i. equipment which supplements a machine  or a group of machines that are being launched into the market or commissioned.

Design and construction of work platforms are generally governed by the fundamental occupational health and safety requirements listed in Annex I of the Directive of the European Parliament and Council No 2006/42/EC (hereinafter referred to as “the Directive”). If work platforms are connected to a particular lifting device (crane or forklift with a lifting height of more than 3 m), they are also governed by the requirements listed in Chapter 6, Annex I of the Directive, which sets additional occupational health  and safety requirements related to machines that pose a high risk due to lifting of personnel. Technical construction documentation must contain assessment of threats and hazards resulting from the combination of a lifting device and a supplementary device and specify conditions, instructions and procedures for the safe use of these devices in all operating modes. Furthermore, the documentation must define works that may be performed on work platforms and warn of residual risks and incorrect or prohibited use of a lifting device or its replaceable supplementary equipment. This information, including other requirements, must be included in user manuals in accordance with Articles 4.4.1 and 4.4.2 of Annex I of the Directive and in conformance with the requirements defined in the Chapter 6 of the standard STN EN ISO 12100-2/A1 (83 3001) and Part 7 of the standard STN EN 14502-1 and 2+A1 (27 0047).

Launching of replaceable supplementary devices (work platforms) into the market or their commissioning is governed by Article 4, par. 3 of the Decree, according to which replaceable supplementary devices must have CE marking and related declaration of conformity. 

If producers of replaceable supplementary devices create (assemble) a device, which has a lifting height of more than 3 m and is intended to lift and carry people, by combining a lifting device and a replaceable supplementary device (work platform) that they produce, they are obliged to assess conformity of such a device with the occupational health and safety requirements. Pursuant to Article 17, Annex IV of the Directive, this device is a designated product and its conformity is assessed in accordance with Article 8, par. 3 and 4 of the Decree.

If persons other than producers create (assemble) a device, which has a lifting height of more than 3 m and is intended to lift and carry people, by combining a lifting device and a replaceable supplementary device (work platform) and in case the producer does not fulfil obligations stipulated by Article 8 of the Decree, these obligations are imposed on persons who launch this device into the market. The same obligations apply to all persons who assemble this device or its parts of different origin or who construct such a device for their own use.

These devices are assessed in conformance with the standards STN EN 14502-1 and STN EN 14502-2+A1 (27 0047). Conformity with the provisions of these standards implies conformity with the requirements stipulated by the aforementioned Decree.

As far as lifting and carrying of people are concerned, we would like to point to Article 72, letter s) of the standard STN 27 0143, which prohibits lifting or carrying of people on a hook or suspended load, with the exception of suspended scales, chargers for furnace operators in metallurgical plants and persons carried in baskets during repairs. In these cases, persons who are carried must be protected against falling – load capacity of the device must be at least 1.5 times higher than the weight of a cage and people who are carried in it. 

Question No. 6

Which activities related to designated lifting devices require authorisation in accordance with Article 15 of the Act No 124/2006 Coll., as subsequently amended (hereinafter referred to as “the Act”)?

Production of designated lifting devices (hereinafter referred to as “DLD”) does not require any authorisation stipulated by law. Nevertheless, producers can ask the Technical Inspection Inc., as an inspection body, to verify their competences. In such a case, this company grants authorisation in accordance with Article 13 of the standard STN EN ISO/IEC 17020 (01 5260). Several companies, which hold such authorisation, use it successfully for the purpose of selection procedures.

Marking of DLD during their operation does not require any authorisation either. Voluntary verification of competency to produce DLD might include also verification of competency to perform marking of these devices.

Performance of expert inspections and expert testing of DLD for other physical or legal entity requires authorisation pursuant to Article 15, par. 1 of the Act. However, if such activities are executed by a physical person who is an entrepreneur but not an employer, they do not require authorisation in accordance with Article 15, par. 9 of the Act provided that this person has necessary qualifications that he/she can prove by a valid certificate in accordance with Article 16 of the Act.

Article 15, par.1 of the Act requires authorisation to perform repairs of DLD for other physical or legal entities. Physical persons who are entrepreneurs but not employers are allowed to carry out these activities without authorisation pursuant to Article 15, par. 9 of the Act, provided that they have necessary qualifications that they can prove by a valid certificate in accordance with Article 16 of the Act.

Repairs of DLD include the following activities:

disassembly and assembly of DLD for the purpose of their repairs, preventive repairs and maintenance as well as repairs and maintenance of these devices. Operations and activities that are carried out according to a user and maintenance manual issued by the producer are not deemed to be repairs and maintenance activities. Repairs include also disassembly and assembly of DLD for the purpose of reconstructions – repairs and alterations of existing DLD that require changes in parameters, functions or purpose of a particular DLD. 

Assembly of a DLD as one unit at the place of its future operation – installation. Assembly of individual parts of a DLD consisting of different designated products into one functional unit at the place of its future operation according to technical or project documentation. This kind of assembly does not include installation of designated products and equipment in producer’s or supplier’s premises during production or activities defined in modules of conformity assessment concerning designated products carried out at the place of future operation (e. g. final inspection of a lift or module G in accordance with the Decree of the Government of the Slovak Republic No 571/2001 Coll. as amended by the Decree of the Government of the Slovak Republic No 327/2003 Coll.). 

Question No. 7

Which technical standards are related to chain hoists during their launching into the market or commissioning?

Chain hoist – travelling or non-travelling mechanism intended to lift loads and used as one unit (definition according to STN ISO 4306-1) – is a designated product pursuant to Article 1, par. 1 of the Decree of the Government of the Slovak Republic No 436/2008 Coll. (hereinafter referred to as “the Decree”). Its launching into the market or commissioning must comply with Articles 4 and 8 of the Decree. However, these activities are not governed by the provisions of the Decree No 508/2009 Coll. (see Article 2, par. 2).  Basic occupational health and safety requirements and requirements regarding design and construction of this device are listed in Annex I of the Directive of the European Parliament and Council No 2006/42/EC (hereinafter referred to as “the Directive”). Assessment of conformity with the regulations stipulated by the Decree requires that producers or their agents use one of the conformity assessment procedures listed in Article 8 of the Decree, make a declaration of conformity according to an example form described in Annex II of the Directive and place a CE mark onto the device in conformance with Annex III of the Directive (see also Article 4 of the Decree). Conformity assessment does not have to be carried out by a notified body (this activity is within the competence of producers or their agents).

If chain hoists are fixed on rails (e. g. suspension profile “I”), they are considered as travelling hoists and, therefore, safety of such lifting devices depends on their installation (assembly) that must be carried out at the place of operation (not on the producer’s premises). Pursuant to Article 5, par. 1 of the Decree of the Government of the Slovak Republic No 392/2006 Coll., travelling chain hoists must be inspected prior to their first use in order to ensure their proper installation and operation. In accordance with Article 12, par. 1 of the Decree of the Government of the Slovak Republic No 508/2009 Coll., lifting devices belonging to Category A must undergo an official commissioning test that will not include activities and procedures carried out during conformity assessment.  If conformity assessment has not been carried out and the declaration of conformity has not been issued, Technical Inspection Inc. can undertake conformity assessment upon request.

Travelling rails of chain hoists are not deemed to be designated lifting devices in accordance with the Decree No 508/2009 Coll. As a result, their construction documentation does not have to be assessed by an authorised legal entity. 

Question No. 8

We live in a block of flats. From 1983 to 2003, we used a passenger lift which did not have cabin doors. In 2003, cabin doors were installed. However, the flat owners are not satisfied. They think that the cabin doors reduce the lift space and make its use worse. We would like to know why cabin doors are installed in older lifts and which regulations require their installation. 

The standards and regulations that were in force in the past permitted use of lifts without cabin doors under certain conditions (maximum speed of elevation, the distance between the edge of the cabin floor and the shaft wall, smooth front wall of the lift shaft). In practice, however, these conditions and requirements were not sufficient in terms of safety. Front walls of shafts were often damaged. Besides this, wear of cabin jaws (shoes) and deformation of sliding cabin guides caused increase in the maximum permitted distance between the edge of the cabin floor and the shaft wall. What is more, there were accidents, even fatal ones, especially among children. In some cases, these accidents happened even though all conditions stipulated by the standards in force were fulfilled! That is why the standards STN EN 81-1 and STN EN 81-2, which came into force in January 1993, require that all passenger lifts have cabin doors. This requirement is encompassed also in the standards STN EN 81-1+AC and STN EN 81-2+AC, which have been in force since December 2000. The standard STN EN 81-80, which came into force in October 2004, sets rules regarding enhancement of safety in existing lifts. If the cabin does not have doors, this standard imposes measures that must be adopted in accordance with the aforementioned standards.

As a general rule, devices are governed by regulations and standards that were in force at the time of their commissioning. Therefore, your passenger lift is governed by the Czechoslovak standard ČSN, which permitted use of passenger lifts without cabin doors under certain conditions. If these conditions are not fulfilled, it is necessary to modernise or replace the lift in conformance with regulations and standards that are currently in force. In the case of necessary modernisation, safety and technical condition of lifts are assessed in accordance with the standard STN EN 81-80. This assessment can be carried out upon request also by the Technical Inspection Inc.

Since you are the owners of a communal device – passenger lift, you decide upon its modernisation. However, it is necessary to bear in mind your responsibility for safety of the lift, which is stipulated by Article 13 of the Act No 124/2006 Coll., as subsequently amended.

In conclusion, we would like to point out the fact that there are several technical and construction versions of cabin doors and most of them reduce the space of the cabin minimally or do not reduce it at all. That is why you can use your lift the same way as before (without cabin doors) without any limitations but with enhanced safety.  As far as operational comfort is concerned, double-wing doors in lifts with load capacity of 250 kg or 320 kg are the least suitable. 

Question No. 9

What are the intervals for recurrent training and education of material handlers and personnel who operate or repair designated lifting devices?

The employer is obliged to comprehensively familiarise all employees with legal regulations concerning occupational health and safety on a regular basis (see Article 7 of the Act No 124/2006 Coll., as subsequently amended). 

Intervals for recurrent training must be specified by an internal standard so that it takes place at least once in two years unless legal and other regulations related to occupational health and safety requite shorter intervals. Contents and intervals of recurrent training must be adjusted to individual work activities, workplace and other circumstances, including especially work tools, work procedures and new threats and risks.  Similar requirements concerning recurrent training of crane operators, material handlers and operators of lifting devices are also stipulated by Article 121 of the standard STN 27 0143. Besides regular recurrent training, every physical person who has a license or authorisation to operate or repair designated lifting devices or handle materials is obliged to complete recurrent special training every five years pursuant to Article 16 of the Act No 124/2006 Coll., as subsequently amended, and points 03.2, 03.3 and 03.4, Annex 4 of the Decree No 356/2007 Coll. If a physical person does not complete this special training, his/her certificate or license becomes invalid.

Question No. 10

What are the intervals for measurements of deviations of permanent crane rails? Steel structures produced in compliance with Article 17 of the standard STN 73 2601 are divided into three categories A, B and C according to their function as well as production, assembly and operational conditions. Steel structures or components belonging to categories A and B, production of which must meet stricter requirements due to dynamic load, material fatigue and brittle fracture, are marked by an additional letter “a” (e. g. Aa or Ba). Production category must be marked in construction documentation.

In accordance with Annex 1 of the standard STN 73 2601, the production category A (Aa) includes also cranes and crane rails belonging to lifting categories “c” and “d” in conformance with the standard STN 27 0103 and in the production category B (Ba) cranes and crane rails belong to lifting categories “a” and “b” in accordance with the standard STN 27 0103. 

Pursuant to Article 183 of the standard 183 STN 73 2601, overall technical condition of these steel structures is regularly assessed by: 
a) preventive inspections, 
b) overhauls.
The extent of these inspections is stipulated by Articles 184 and 186. Overhauls of structures with travelling cranes include also inspections of course and height deviations, gaps at joints, wear of rails, etc. Course and height deviations are usually measured by geodetic devices.

Overhauls must be carried out immediately after preventive inspections reveal shortcomings that may pose a risk to operation and safety of personnel.

Regular overhauls are necessary in case of: 
a) steel structures which are subject to extreme dynamic loading and structures on sites above mines – at least once in 3 years, 
b) other steel structures belonging to category A - at least once in 5 years, 

c) steel structures belonging to categories B and C according to operational conditions – at least once in 10 years.

The obligation to carry out these inspections and measurements is also stipulated by Article 9, par. 1, letter a) of the Act No 124/2006 Coll., as subsequently amended.

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