Ask The Expert: Annual lifting inspections and five-year tests

Offered By A&M Defence & Marine Services Limited
  • Niv Silberman
  • Business Development Manager

What are annual lifting inspections and who needs to perform them?

Any yacht that operates as a commercial/charter vessel, or situates under the large yacht code, should have her lifting appliances and accessories inspected annually and perform five-year load tests on appliances.

If a yacht carries less than 12 passengers and is privately owned, it is not mandatory to perform the inspections, though we would highly recommend doing them. Should the worst happen and an accident leads to an injury, damaged equipment or a fatality, an investigation will be opened. Insurance inspectors, flag/class surveyors and government investigative bodies might hold the captain and management company accountable under their duty of care.

What needs inspecting, testing and certifying?

The term ‘lifting appliance’ covers all stationary or mobile, cargo-handling appliances used on board for suspending, raising or lowering loads, or moving them from one position to another while suspended or supported. The list of equipment which falls within this definition is long and varied, and will include everything from chain blocks to fixed lifting points, davits, tenders, Jet Ski deck cranes and more.

In addition to lifting appliances, lifting accessories (or loose gear) need the same level of annual inspection but do not require a five-year test. This is defined as any type of equipment that is suspended below the hook, such as a shackle or sling.

We also include means of access equipment (for example passerelles, gangways and accommodation ladders) in the inspections, as well as working at height equipment, such as EN795 certified over side tracks and anchor points, and personal protective equipment (PPE), such as harnesses and lanyards etc.

How does A&M Defence & Marine Services do it differently?

We have inspected and tested lifting appliances and accessories on board thousands of yachts all across the globe, and we are proud of our impeccable record. This is achieved through a clear and systematic approach. Upon completion of an inspection and testing by our engineers, an electronic register of lifting appliances and items of loose gear is issued to the yacht and stored on our database.

Our certificate is a report of thorough examination and testing which complies with LOLER (Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations). Each item on board, from the smallest shackle to the largest crane, receives a unique certificate. 

For efficient and clear traceability, we have developed unique software called LEMS (Lifting Equipment Management System) whereby all certificates are stored digitally and are available to be printed by crew and management when necessary.

What if a yacht needs a bespoke sling or equipment that is not off-the-shelf?

Whether it’s for a whole fit-out for a new build, a bespoke sling for a ‘man-riding’ tender, or a dedicated rescue tripod, we will not only offer the best prices, but ensure that the equipment is fit for purpose and comes with all of the necessary certificates.

About this expert

Niv Silberman works as a Business Development Manager at A&M Defence & Marine Services and has done since May 2019. A&M provides statutory lifting inspections, five-year load tests for lifting appliances and LSA. Its highly qualified engineers work worldwide and travel to all of the main superyacht hubs in Europe and the Caribbean, as well as remote locations such as Alaska, Ensenada (Mexico) and Australia/New Zealand.

Find out more about this expert and contact them today. 

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