LEEA Strengthens TEAM

The Lifting Equipment Engineers Association (LEEA) is strengthening its Test, Examine and Maintain (TEAM) scheme with the introduction of a work experience log book.

LEEA has unveiled further improvements to its TEAM card registration and identity scheme at the 2010 Safety and Health Expo (Stand H70, Birmingham NEC 11th-13th May). Designed to ensure that only properly qualified engineers are permitted to test, examine and maintain overhead lifting equipment, the TEAM card will now be backed by a log book that provides comprehensive and up-to-date details of the holder’s relevant work experience.

Launched by the LEEA in May 2009, TEAM cards are issued exclusively to engineers that have passed its industry-recognised Diploma examination. To ensure both safety and legal compliance of overhead lifting operations, employers are urged to insist that the card is shown by anyone proposing to work on overhead lifting equipment. With the addition of the log book, employers can now see clearly if the holder is an active practitioner of his or her theoretical skills, helping to meet the legal requirement for thorough examination of overhead lifting equipment to be undertaken only by competent personnel.

Commenting on the launch, Geoff Holden, chief executive of the LEEA, said: “The introduction of the TEAM card log book marks the latest step in our ongoing campaign to ensure that the test, examination and maintenance of  overhead lifting equipment is recognised as a specialist and safety critical role. Genuine competence is a mix of practical and theoretical skills and the TEAM card and log book bring them together in one place.”

In the UK, the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations (LOLER) demand that all lifting equipment is subject to periodic thorough examination by a competent person. However, the LEEA is concerned that, in some cases inadequately qualified staff are being used, exposing employees to unnecessary risks and leaving their employers open to prosecution. Supported by a range of theoretical and practical training courses, the LEEA’s Diploma has been running for over 50 years, and encompasses a series of modules covering different types of lifting equipment. Each of these modules concludes with a formal written examination, held annually at test centres around the world.

The LEEA TEAM card lists the holder’s qualifications, identifying precisely the types of lifting equipment they have trained to work on. Valid for five years, the card also provides proof of the holder’s identity and employer. All the information shown can be verified by contacting the LEEA. Further reassurance is provided by the fact that TEAM cards can only be used by employees of LEEA member companies. To earn the right to full membership of the LEEA, companies must pass a rigorous technical audit. Members are then subject to further periodic audits, as long as they remain part of the LEEA.

Established in 1944, the LEEA has over 300 member companies worldwide and campaigns vigorously for higher standards of safety within the lifting industry. In addition to providing members with training and expert technical advice, the association works closely with organisations such as the Health and Safety Executive in the preparation of regulations and British, European and International standards. Member companies include those involved in the design, manufacture, hire, repair, refurbishment, test, examination, verification and use of lifting equipment. Applicants are subject to an initial technical audit before full membership is granted, and then to a continuing programme of assessments. Further details on the activities of the LEEA and a full list of members can be found at: www.leea.co.uk

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