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A roof building truss being lowered into position by crane

A letter dated 21 December 2004 from HSE ( download PDF ) clearly sets out the differences between straightforward hire where the customer takes on the major legal liability for ensuring that lifting operations are planned and carried out safely and a 'Contract Lift' where the crane hire company relieves the customer of that responsibility, provided that the customer has satisfied itself that the crane company it proposes to use is competent and has a good safety record.


We quote: "In a Crane Hire arrangement the crane and operator will work to the client's instructions. The client will plan the lift, select a suitable crane, specify the slinging and signalling arrangements, supervise the lift and be responsible for the lifting operation.... ....When the crane arrives at the lift location the crane operator should not start the lifting operation until he has seen the lift plan and discussed it with the supervisor. The competent person has the responsibility for ensuring the lift plan is adequate but the crane driver will need to be satisfied that it covers all the necessary elements. This should not be interpreted as the crane operator taking responsibility for the planning of the job........In a similar manner if a representative from the crane company visits the site to gather information for the rigging of the crane or to assist the client in the selection of the crane then this should not be interpreted as taking responsibility for planning the overall lifting operation.


....In a Contract Lift the crane hire company will plan the lift, select a suitable crane, specify the slinging and signalling arrangements, supervise the lift and be responsible for the lifting operation....


....To fulfil their own legal obligations, crane hire companies need to be satisfied that their potential clients will fulfil their responsibilities whether they choose a Contract Lift or Crane Hire."


When hiring in the client should ensure it has sufficient Insurance to cover:-

Worried about operating the crane and the risk assessment?

Our contract lifting service means we provide all aspects of contract lifting for you including a qualified operator, site visits all combined with risk assessment and site plan, this is all inclusive when hiring a crane. Contract lifting is a great package where we do it all for you!

What do you get from opting for contract lifting?

By having an operator who will provide the risk assessment and operate the crane it ensures if there is any damage sustained to the vehicle during the usage you will not be held negligent. Therefore you can always be rest assured that you will not be held liable if any damage or accidents occur.

What our contract lifting entails:

  • Contract lifting

  • Appointed person

  • Crane rigging

  • Road closures

  • Complete project planning

  • Detailed risk assessments

Contract lifting - legal requirements

Legal requirements relating to Health and Safety make it necessary for all lifting operations involving cranes to be properly planned, controlled and supervised, and we offer our customers two main options in this regard: either CPA Hire, where the customer hires the crane and operator under CPA model conditions and the customer's personnel do the planning, control and supervision themselves, or Contract Lifting where B & A Cranes supplies not only the crane and operator, but also the personnel who do the planning, control and supervision. In both cases the customer has a legal responsibility for Health and Safety which cannot be abdicated, but in the case of a contract lift B & A Cranes can lighten the customer's burden, take on more of the legal liabilities, and offer greater protection under its insurance cover.

CPA HIRE or CONTRACT LIFT - What's the difference?

  • Loss or damage to the crane/vehicle/equipment whilst on site (min £150K)

  • Continuing hire charges whilst the crane/vehicle/equipment is off the road for repairs following damage

  • Injury to Owner's driver/operator and/or other employees whilst on site

  • Injury to other parties, including damage to their property arising from the crane operations

  • Loss or damage to the goods being lifted

If you would like to find out more about our contract lifting call our team on:

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Then let a skilled operator do it for you!