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CROSS Safety Report

Chain hoist problem

Report ID: 317 Published: 1 April 2013 Region: CROSS-UK

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A reporter raises concerns after brand new proprietary hoists had to be returned to the manufacturer for remedial works.

Key Learning Outcomes

For the construction team:

Full Report

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The Full Report below has been submitted to CROSS and describes the reporter’s experience. The text has been edited for clarity and to ensure anonymity and confidentiality by removing any identifiable details. If you would like to know more about our secure reporting process or submit a report yourself, please visit the reporting to CROSS-UK page.


A number of brand new proprietary hoists were being used during the progressive demolition of a gas holder says a reporter. One, a 20t hand chain block was left under load over a weekend and afterwards one strand of the six strands of chain was found to be broken. The remaining hoists were inspected and five were removed as being unsatisfactory. Detailed examination showed that there was damage to the bottom block including:

  • Damage to the edges, a broken weld and plate distortion

  • A section of the broken link from the load chain was gouged and bruised consistent with the chain becoming trapped in the guide plates

  • Other, and different, marks were found on the load chain together with further sharp edges,

  • There were dimensional discrepancies between the manufacturer’s literature and the supplied hoist

  • The manufacturer’s operating instructions were not clear

All hoists were returned to the manufacturer for remedial works included machining to remove sharp edges, which should not have been present in the first place, and all chains were replaced. 

Expert Panel Comments

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Safety-critical lifting equipment requires careful attention. The standards for such a hoist are covered by the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations (LOLER) which set out stringent compliance requirements including inspection before use. In this case all, or some of these, were not met which raises doubt regarding manufacturer and supplier and possibly also the procurement and implementation procedures.

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