CPCS A20 Hoist Driver/Operator Course

1. Introduction

This course is designed to steer hoist operators along a route to understanding and recognition that their profession is a skilled discipline. It is not merely a means to an end of transporting men and materials “from A to B.” It has a far more important role to play in the overall productivity and efficiency of a project. Time spent planning and setting up a hoist will be recovered and indeed exceeded through efficient and safe working once the hoist is in operation. Operators/driver will recognize the benefits of pre-planning and checklists, employing the correct procedures on site, safe and efficient working methods. The hoist driver/operator has a significant contribution towards a project’s health and safety record. With the ability to work discipline work in and provide the most cost-efficient transport for men and materials to their desired location, this hoist driver/operator will be recognizing and identifying with his newfound skilled professionalism. This course provides the candidate with the opportunity of achieving the country recognized CPCS Red Trained Operator Card. A Red CPCS Trained Operator card confirms a certain level of experience, competence, the achievement of an NVQ or SVQ unit, and Health Safety and Environment (HS&E) test. It represents a major step forward in our quest to raise standards and safety in a construction environment. The hoist NVQ units are few in number, however, by attending the CPCS A20 Hoist Training Scheme candidates will be taught to prepare for and take the NVQ assessments, portfolio completion, and on-site assessments prior to achieving the more advanced Blue CPCS Card. This course is for a novice hoist operator with no formal instruction and/or experienced operators with no qualifications. Step on and off the machine operatives and static machine minders should also attend the course to achieve their competent operator status. Note: those with five or more years of experience of operating can obtain a CPCS red card through testing only, avoiding the NVQ. Hoists offer a means of transport for men and materials from a position something less or easy by stairs, to a height more than three meters. This definition alone can conjure up many and varied types of hoist and indeed drivers/operators will be familiar with what are often referred to as passenger/goods, service and common tower hoists. The versatility of the hoist means that it can serve an equivalent duty to many forms of transport, be it forking up materials with a builder’s hoist or carrying out a man riding operation. Increasingly, we must raise standards of safety and understanding in what is a very widely employed and often misunderstood method of transport. It is often the case that a construction company will own a hoist yet consider all workers are machine minders as there are few documented training schemes specifically for hoist drivers and operators. The machine minder who may also have a key role in safety and productivity will benefit from understanding the driver’s point of view and vice versa, with each knowing the other’s duties and responsibilities.

1.1 Course Overview

This course prepares experienced plant operators for the CPCS A20 Hoist Truck practical and theory tests. By the end of the course, participants will have the knowledge and practical skills to: successfully pass the CPCS A20 Hoist Truck Theory and Practical Tests, understand the reasons for lifting with a hoist as opposed to other means of lifting, understand regulations including LOLER, PUWER, BS7121, recognise various forms of lifting accessories and lifting tackle including inspection and discard criteria, know how to calculate the safe working load of lifting accessories and loads, ensure greater health and safety awareness for operative and non-operative personnel, understand the implications of overloading the hoist, understand manufacturers’ requirements, and potential problems of various types of hoist, ensure the lift is planned and supervised, ensure efficient operation and environmental concerns including noise and emissions, completed lift. Assessment will commence with identifying operator qualifications, experience and any operating restrictions. Step by step guidance will be given throughout the lift and students will not be informed of any errors made until the lift is complete.

1.2 Course Objectives

At the end of the course the operator will: (a) Be aware of the relevant modern health and safety regulations, which impact on their safe use of a hoist. (b) Be able to locate and identify the various hoists, ancillary items and their applications. Be able to locate and interpret rated capacities, speeds, safe working loads etc. (c) Be able to carry out all pre-use and running checks in a safe and competent manner. Know what action to take if the hoist shows signs of malfunction during use. (d) Be able to safely sling various types of loads, understand the principles of loading and know the significance of the terms safe working load. Identify any items/loads, which are unsuitable for lifting. (e) Be able to carry out lifting, maneuvering and landing procedures in a safe and efficient manner. Have an understanding of basic communication whilst in control of a load. (f) Have a comprehensive knowledge and understanding of the procedures for the hitching and unhitching of the hoist to and from the supporting structures mentioned under theoretical training. This would include any special procedures needed for specific hoists. E.g. fixing kits and machines for positioned lifting. (g) Have a basic understanding of elementary structural calculations and knowing when specialist advice may be required.

The main objective of this course is to provide both experienced and inexperienced operators with sufficient knowledge and understanding to enable them to operate the hoist in a safe and efficient manner. The course objectives are as follows:

1.3 Course Duration

The CPCS Technical Test is carried out by independent CPCS Testers and is required to be done at a CPCS Test Centre. This may be done at the company premises if the Test Centre meets certain conditions, which are available from CITB-ConstructionSkills. A CPCS Tester will visit the Test Centre to carry out your test. Construct Training Ltd can now deliver CPCS Testing and NVQ’s On-Site.

The CPCS Technical Test consists of a Theory Test and Practical Assessment. The Theory Test includes multiple choice questions and short written questions. The completion of the Theory Test is essential before the candidate takes the Practical Assessment. The Practical Assessment tests the candidate’s operating skills and how they manage the hoist when carrying out routine tasks.

The duration of the CPCS A20 Hoist Driver/Operator Course varies depending on the candidate’s experience and the number of personnel taking the theory and practical elements of the tests. For Novice candidates, it is a maximum of 4 days with a maximum of 3 candidates. For Experienced Operators, it is a maximum of 2 days with a maximum of 3 candidates. For Test Only candidates, it is a maximum of 1 day with a maximum of 3 candidates. The test will be conducted at the end of the training program.

2. Hoist Operations

If an earthing arrangement is in place, the hoist should normally be left earthed to ensure that uncontrolled movement cannot occur.

If a physical barrier, such as a locked gate, which unauthorised persons cannot pass is available it should be used to block walkways and access to the shaft.

Before driving a hoist it is essential to ensure that no persons are working in the vicinity of the hoist.

An unattended hoist can pose a significant danger as it is likely that the platform is in or close to the haulage resting area and the likelihood of persons working in the shaft is high.

2.2 Pre-Operational Checks

Make sure that you are familiar with the controls to be used, this may involve contacting the hoist supplier and obtaining a manual which will explain how to safely operate the controls.

The control systems for hoists can vary but most hoists are operated from a simple pendant control. The pendant control will consist of a UP and DOWN button and an emergency stop button.

A cab mounted on the mast may also be encountered with a B series hoist.

There are two types of hoist to be operated, the rack and pinion man riding hoist and the passenger/goods combined hoist (referred to as B Series).

2.1 Hoist Controls

Hoist operation is simplified by its straightforward design and practical components. Drum hoists are generally operated by levers which apply the hoist’s power to the on and off control. Modern drum hoists are operated by more complex means than simply toggling a lever. For multi-drum hoists, it is standard to use two levers, one for each drum. Brakes are often a split design with both a static and dynamic brake. Winches work similarly to drum hoists and also have a range of control methods. This highly flexible and maneuverable form of hoist has been developed heavily in the past 30 years. Most winches have an automatic safety control system which automatically stops the winch if the load is too heavy or encounters an obstacle. This is a safety mechanism not present in hoists and simple winches and is a nice segue into discussing safety control for all hoisting devices. Finally, the pneumatic hoist is operated by a pendant control. This is essentially a joystick which dictates hoist movement in any number of directions. Step one for hoist control will involve ensuring that the control mechanism itself is working safely and has no faults as it could have detrimental effects on hoist operation.

2.2 Pre-Operational Checks

On completion of the checks involved with the lifting device location, its fitness for use, and method to its end location, a risk assessment should be composed to determine and control any hazards. This assessment shall be reviewed in the event of any changes to location or change of lifting device. All documents shall be kept on file for future reference.

Next, the participant must inspect and identify the gondola or barrel and identify its maximum safe working load. This information is to be seen to be believed, and if it is seen to be in excess, it should be removed from service immediately. The specification of the gondola or barrel should be compared with the selection of the lifting equipment on the following competent lifting practices module. A copy of the specific selection provision should be kept on file for future reference. Then, inspect and identify the method of any additional add-ons (e.g., concrete kibbles, monorails). This will determine if hoist operations have a variation of the current lifting device to transport the load from the gondola to its end location, where the current lifting device may not be most suitable.

Firstly, the participant must locate the daily check sheet, which is normally located at the hoist motor or in the site shed. This check sheet should be used to record what checks have been done and what defects or safety concerns were noted. The participant and/or supervisor should use this document as part of ongoing safety checks in the hoist during the course of its use. Also, the participant must identify the registers and/or plates located on the hoist. This will give the participant information on the manufacturer, serial number, year of manufacture, name of owner, and information on the service agreement. This information may be of use to the participant if technical advice is needed, spare parts are ordered, or in the event someone from the government or safety authority questions the equipment. An ID tag is to be attached with this information at all times during hoist use. Any hoist without this information should not be used until this information is found and recorded. Any hoist without an ID tag should not be used at any time.

2.3 Safe Lifting Practices

When the cage is aligned with the landing, use both drop and rise/gear levers to gently lock off and snub the load. Raise the load slightly to remove sling ‘give’ before fully locking off and applying the emergency gate locking device. Keep slack in the sling when snubbing the load to prevent possible jolting of the hoist. Slack, for proper locking off actions [451 and [452], hoist operations positioning and snubbing involving one particular strike of the landing will, sooner or later, lead to crushing of the sling, movement of the load being lifted, or damage to the gate lock mechanism. Step 2 must then be repeated in order to bodily and rhythmically lift the load free from the old resting place. For example, another cage up a defined distance or a suspended load to a new level. When first snatch lifting the load, be ready for abnormal movements or snatch actions, which under the given conditions, may unpredictably alter. Retain slack in the sling to allow for changes in direction and ensure the hoist drive and passenger undertake to communicate all actions during lifting to each other. Step 1 should then be used to guide the load smoothly and intermittently to a new resting place by first gently striking the landing and then holding that position to allow the load to settle after the lowering hand is released. Careful load handling actions will avoid jolt and snatch movements, meaning a reduction in force requirements and lower stress levels. Rhythmically striking the same landing is achieved by simply repeating the actions described and is the most controlled way of moving a load. If a load is to be suspended, then the hoist will need to take account of the risk of sway and correct the action by using small intermittent movements and an alternative step one method. This can be quite stressful on the hoist driver and will involve constant communication with a cage passenger throughout all stages. This is covered by the small load assistance hand, which when operated, will slowly increase the speed of the hoist by automatically disengaging the speed reduction device on the gear. This will need to be used in small bursts to be most effective, with constant communication to the passenger to assess changing movement of the load. Continue to monitor hoisting and movement conditions of the load, with the aim of never allowing large peaks in force to occur and always be prepared to cease all actions and lower the load if conditions become unacceptable. If a good movement pattern of a known light load can be achieved while all slinging equipment and site conditions are the same, it may be worth recording and applying the same method for future hoisting.

2.4 Load Handling Techniques

Suspend the load directly under the lifting point. When rigging up a load to a hoist, the load should be lifted vertically wherever possible. This means that it should be suspended centrally under the lifting point, and weight evenly distributed. If a load must be angled while suspended, then consideration must be taken to use equipment that is specifically designed for that kind of lift. Some equipment may have a swivel hook attachment. While these can be useful for some lift situations, using one of these hooks to try and change the angle of a vertical lift could end up in the load becoming uncontrolled.

Choose the right device for the job. When manually handling loads, consideration should be given to the shape and size of the load and also its mass. Where possible, break the load down into smaller, more manageable parts and move each part individually. With mechanical handling, care must be taken when using any type of lifting accessory; if the WLL of that accessory does not safely cover the mass of the load, then it must not be used. When selecting the correct hoist for the job, check to see if it is fitted with any special accessories that could come into conflict with the load. An example of this would be trying to lift a load using the hook of a hoist that is already fitted with a beam attachment.

3. Hoist Safety

Personal protective equipment (PPE) is the first essential step that the hoist driver/operator must take. The hoist on which the driver is working is essentially a piece of lifting equipment, therefore the driver must follow the legislation for lifting operations, which are that all lifting equipment must be thoroughly examined, and it will not be put into service unless a LOLER certificate can be produced. The Supply of Machinery (Safety) Regulations 2008 states that PPE is a last resort, in that it should not be used unless the risks which it is protecting against have been minimised by design and/or engineering controls. If following a risk assessment in a modern hoist on a steel frame construction with full guardrails and toe boards, the hoist driver may deem that the only real risk of injury to him is objects falling from above, therefore the only PPE he would require in this situation would be a suitable safety helmet. On the other hand if hoisting materials up an unfinished external face of a building, the hoist driver could be at risk from a variety of different hazards and therefore would need different PPE. All new PPE should be CE marked and the Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992 requires that PPE is maintained and used properly. Any hoist driver who has to wear PPE for work should ensure that it does not inhibit his ability to drive the hoist safely. Rogatory Step: 1.6 Users of PPE should be provided with instructions and supervised unless they have had adequate training. 1.7 PPE must be stored correctly when not in use. Step 2: (this involves all hoist users, will be included in hoist logbook) 2.1 The PPE must prevent or adequately control the risks foreseen in the risk assessment. 2.2 The PPE must be suitable for a particular hoist task. 2.3 A time limit on PPE usage should be set, ensuring that PPE for certain jobs is not used indefinitely. 2.4 PPE users must be able to recognise when PPE is reaching the end of its life span.

3.1 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

With reference to Regulation 4 of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER), suitable PPE should identify possible risks to the safety of the equipment and should remain suitable for the purpose. It should be used for preventing or controlling risk in connection with the hoist operator’s task. For example, lifting machine with articulated parts – protection against dust and protective clothing. An assessment of the risk should determine the suitability of particular items of PPE.

For the operator, whether he or she is a banksmen slinger, crane driver, or any type of lifting equipment operator, must understand that PPE is the last resort to find protection against a particular hazard at work. PPE is equipment worn to minimize exposure to a variety of hazards. Examples include items such as gloves, foot and eye protection, protective hearing devices, hard hats, and full body suits. Personal protective equipment is often described as the specific last line of defense. In many instances, the hoist operator is assigned tasks undertaken within the lift shaft to which he or she has to manually handle the hoist’s landing gate or move hoist mechanical parts that are en route to the hoist motor room.

The hoist has become an invaluable item of plant on the modern building site, while numerous accidents have occurred over the years which have involved the hoist. In many cases, the direct and indirect causes have been due to inadequate safety precautions, issues pertaining to personal protective equipment (PPE), through to lack of training and operating knowledge of the hoist itself. Accidents have ranged from the hoist falling down the lift shaft, failure to disengage the hoist from the landing gates or overloading the hoist cage.

3.2 Emergency Procedures

If the load is loose and cannot be controlled, it should be allowed to fall in a controlled manner to the nearest landing. The area around the load should be cordoned off, ensuring that no one can access the load. An attempt to winch the load upwards off the car and onto the landing should then be made. A spare pulley may be used to redirect the winch cable at a right angle onto a second pulley and back up to the load. Under no circumstances should personnel approach the load until it is established that there is no damage to the load or hoist and that it is safe to proceed.

Mechanical failure of the hoist has the potential for a high-risk incident as the load may be dropped. In this scenario, the operator should attempt to control the load by traveling the hoist in the downward direction. This can be achieved by pushing the up and down travel buttons simultaneously. If the load is still dropping, the hoist should be tripped at the emergency stop button. Providing the load is under control, an attempt to return the hoist to the home landing should be made. However, if the fault to the hoist has caused the load to jam in its current position, the area around the load should be cordoned off, ensuring that no one can access the load. The load should then be slung using a spare piece of webbing strap or one obtained from cutting the existing load sling. A competent person should then arrange to have the load either winched or manually lifted and moved to a safe location.

The types of emergencies that should be considered for the hoist operator are: i. Mechanical failure of hoist ii. Hoist does not stop iii. Power failure iv. Free falling scenario

3.3 Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment

To implement a system of PEEPs, there needs to be good communication between people who need assistance, their managers, those responsible for putting fire evacuation procedures in place, and the fire wardens. If you require a PEEP for yourself or for someone you are responsible for, you should feel able to discuss this with your manager. Managers should contact fire safety personnel or the person responsible for the fire evacuation procedures, and it is essential that fire wardens are aware of who may need assistance in an emergency and the details of how they can provide it.

The information obtained about specific people could be linked to the records for the review of assessment of fire precautions, i.e. where there is a record of a person identified as needing assistance to evacuate, this could be linked to the information from the questionnaire. This will enable the person’s manager to put a PEEP in place for that individual and to ensure that any visitors to that work area are aware of the arrangements for assistance in an emergency.

Your employer has a duty of care to put procedures in place to safeguard employees and to ensure that they are suitable for all aspects of work that you will do. A PEEP is an emergency action plan for a single individual who may have a disability or who may be particularly vulnerable in an emergency situation. It takes account of the individual’s capabilities and identifies what support they will need to ensure that they can safely respond to an emergency. In identifying these people, an effective way of finding out who may need assistance is to ask all employees whether they or their visitors to their work area would need help evacuating in the event of an emergency, and what type of help they think they would need.

3.4 Hoist Maintenance and Inspection

5. Regular visual inspections of ropes and/or chains to ensure no defects occur between thorough examinations. Any wire rope should be inspected by a competent person and any unsafe rope should be removed from service.

4. Checks should be carried out on the condition and function of the braking system and over speed protection devices.

3. Daily and/or before use checks should include ensuring the hoist is stable and secured to the structure it serves, checking the function of all gates, ramps, and runways of the hoist.

2. The functionality of operating devices and limit switches should be checked before use. This is easily done by operating the device or switches and observing the machinery. Always check the limit switches are set correctly.

1. Before starting the hoist, a pre-use visual inspection should be carried out to ensure the machine is safe to use. This will involve checking for the presence and condition of guards, safety devices, the suspension rope, and looking for any loose or damaged parts.

3.4.1 Daily and Regular Inspections Regulations require daily and weekly inspections of all hoisting equipment, it is recommended that a comprehensive log of all inspections, maintenance and repairs are kept.

One of the most valuable ways of introducing safety on site is to ensure the machines used are safe and in good working order. The hoist is a complex piece of machinery which needs constant attention to ensure safe and proper working. There are two types of hoist, the rack and pinion drive and the drum and chain drive. Each type of hoist will have different maintenance requirements, this session will cover maintenance on both types of hoist.

4. Hoist Regulations and Standards

CPCS has committed to working with the Strategic Forum for Plant Safety in improving operator safety and ensuring peace of mind through the principles of best practice. The Strategic Forum for Plant Safety was formed in 2003, comprising representatives from across the construction industry, with the mutual objective of providing better coherence and safety for everyone using all types of plant. This therefore provides the professional hoist operator with clearly defined legislation and industry best practice which they can implement and follow throughout their working career. It is quite often the case that hoist operators work with, and around plant machinery and mobile plant walls, etc. and the CPCS A20 course certifies operators with the awareness and ability to make decisions on the suitability and safety of using such equipment. This should exceed the expectations and requirements of the current Construction and Design Management (CDM) Regulations, LOLER Regulations, and MHSW Regulations. The CITB accredited status of the CPCS scheme ensures that hoist operators are able to obtain recognized qualifications that are primarily aimed at improving site safety and operative competency. A CPCS card is a means to demonstrate the required level of competence and understanding of hoist regulations and standards at any particular time. A CPCS cardholder may often find themselves working as a professional hoist operator at a variety of locations and situations and card requirements may vary between employers and site agents. CPCS continuously consults with industry to ensure that card attributes correspond to employer and operative requirements. This is usually with consultation to the National Specialist Construction Councils (NSCC). The hoist operator is therefore required to keep up to date with changes in regulations and standards and should feel confident that the CPCS scheme will always provide appropriate ways and means to demonstrate their level of ability in providing a safe and effective service. CPCS cards for the hoist operator are achieved by first completing the appropriate CPCS Theory Test Module. For a no more than 2-year experienced operator, this would be the Trained Operator (red) card and for the more experienced operator, there is a Competent Operator (blue) card. The Trained Operator (red) card acts as a stepping stone for the hoist operator to then achieve the blue card by undergoing further training and developing competency. By committing to the CPCS scheme and following the card progression from the red to blue, the hoist operator can fully ensure that they have the necessary certification to comply with future CPCS requirements in demonstrating ongoing competence.

4.1 CPCS Certification Requirements

The CPCS Hoist Driver/Operator course aids candidates to achieve the recognised qualification in plant operations and obtain the necessary CPCS cards to work in the construction industry.

The Blue CPCS Competent Operator Card is valid for five years and is renewable.

To upgrade to the Blue CPCS Competent Operator Card, the candidate will need to pass the CPCS Hoist Practical Test (A20).

To qualify for the Red CPCS Trained Operator Card, the candidate will need to complete the CSCS Health and Safety Test, and pass the CPCS Theory Test and the Practical Test. The Red CPCS Trained Operator Card is valid for two years and is non-renewable.

To work with a hoist on a construction site as the operator/driver, a suitable qualification in plant operations must be obtained. The most widely recognised qualification is the CPCS card.

4.2 Health and Safety Legislation

By learning this hoist operator course, our team will be able to understand and interpret these regulations and standards in relation to hoist operations at various work sites. This information will be key to running successful hoist operations and will help to identify legalities and regulations that control hoist operations today. This will greatly reduce the chance of accidents and provide a safer work environment for the construction workers we would be transporting.

Since this act came into effect, the Health and Safety Commission and its executive have also introduced many regulations and standards involving lift and hoist operations. These would include The Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 (LOLER), working at height regulations 2005, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Guidelines on Safe Practices for Personnel hoists (R4. 174-176), just to name a few. All these laws and regulations are set as safety precautions for the employer and employee so that they can identify what he or she needs to do in order to comply with the law. This helps to prevent accidents and ill health at work and helps create and maintain a healthy and safe work environment.

The Health and Safety Legislation in the UK is a hot topic and one that affects every company, employer, and employee. Since the introduction of the Health and Safety at Work Act, which came into force in 1974 by the Labour government, there has been an increase in awareness of such issues and legislations. With an increase in employers’ awareness of new-found responsibilities, there has become a greater emphasis on the need for nationally recognized standards of occupational competence in order to minimize the risk of accidents and promote safety and health awareness.

4.3 Industry Best Practices

The industry needs to set clear standards for training and career development of operators. This should cover basic grounding for operatives with no experience, novice operators, trainee operators and experienced operators progressing through higher levels. Guidelines should be set for career development with competency standards for each stage. This would enable contractors to put together teams of operators at different stages and very accurately target the type of operator required for specific tasks on a project. A clear career development path would also increase the attractiveness of plant operations as a trade. This in turn would increase the quality and quantity of operators entering the trade, help tackle the aging workforce issue and vastly improve the image of the industry. A career development path would be of particular benefit to the younger generation of new operators. With the increasing age and experience requirements these days it can be very difficult for a young operator to get a start in the industry. It can also be discouraging taking orders and directions from a plant operator of similar age but higher worldly experience.

It is important for each operator to work to the best of his ability to set and strive for industry best practice. They should regularly perform a benchmarking exercise to compare their own working practices. Every operator must be actively encouraged to make suggestions for improvements in their operations and recognize and record any achievements. Industry best practice changes through continuous improvement, increased knowledge and achievement. With this in mind, every operating company and operator undergoing training or training new operators should keep a close check on changes to best practice within the industry and maintain a program of process and career development.