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Lifting Legally

Because of the many potential hazards associated with lifting equipment such as cranes and hoists, the Department of Labour through the Lifting Machinery Entity (LME) enforces certain legislation.

Amendment of DMR 18 published on the 18th of February 2005 which reads:

Notice of exemption in terms of Section 40(1) of the Occupational Health & Safety Act, 1993

Driven Machinery Regulations 18(5)

I, Jaco Naidoo, appointed as chief inspector in terms of section 27(1) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act 1993, acting in terms of the powers vested in me by regulation 18(5) of the Driven Machinery Regulations published under Government Notice No. 295 of 26 February 1988 hereby grant exemption in terms of section 40(1) until 29 April 2005 to all entities performing load testing on all lifting machinery.

This exemption is subject to the following conditions:

  1. That all entities performing load testing on all lifting machines should apply for registration with Department of Labour.
  2. Those entities will be expected to ensure that their Lifting Machinery Inspectors are registered.

The LME Registration requirements include:

  • Competency and relevant experience of technical staff in specific disciplines.
  • Having a copy of the Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Act and its regulations available.
  • Providing proof of training of technical staff on the Act and its regulations.
  • That an updated copy of the Associates Codes and Standards be available.
  • Providing proof of training of technical staff on the relevant Codes, Standards & Specifications.

Those who are exempted from these provisions are technical staff registered with the Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA) as Lifting Machinery Inspectors (LMI’s). Compliance includes having a considerable body of knowledge as well as familiarity with safety and ethical standards.

A registered LMI conducts inspections of lifting machinery as defined in the Driven Machinery Regulations of the Occupational Health and Safety Act (Act no. 85 of 1993). Lifting machinery is categorized which includes tower cranes, mobile cranes, gantry cranes, harbour cranes, telescopic handlers, forklifts and work platforms etc.

The LME is required to have at least one LMI on its staff. Registered LMIs will be allocated a registration number by ECSA. An inspector from the Department of Labour paying a visit to a site can ask for the register to see whether the machines have been handed over and commissioned as well as the name and registration number of the LMI.

A complete set

Not only will this bring a company’s processes into line with the legal requirements, but it will also ensure that best practice in terms of safety is implemented on site. Previously, the only requirements under the Occupational Health and Safety Act were that a person, who undertakes load testing of lifting equipment, was defined as a person with the knowledge and experience of the erection and maintenance of the particular type of equipment.

Regarding test inspection equipment, a complete set of minimum relevant equipment is required for a specific inspection. A list of the equipment used for said inspection must be kept as must the Calibration Certificates for the equipment used.

The system will contribute to the protection of the public with respect to the work carried out by the lifting equipment industry.


Any company involved in the lifting machinery industry, must keep full documentation including records of jobs and projects carried out, as required for audit purposes. Test records issued must be kept available for a minimum of ten years.

  • (compiled by Ken Greenwood 17/02/2012)