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Maintenance Personnel - Attributes, Training and Assessment

Introduction

It is essential that the maintenance of tower cranes is always carried out by personnel who have been assessed by their employer as competent and have adequate training and information to carry out the work required.


Attributes

Maintenance personnel should be: 

• Physically fit;

 • Comfortable working at height; 

• Have a responsible attitude; 

• Able to communicate clearly with other personnel on site; 

• Aware of their own limitations in knowledge and experience; 

• Fully conversant with the machinery they are required to maintain and its hazards; 

• Properly instructed and trained. Where special machinery is involved this should include attending appropriate courses given by the manufacturer/supplier of the equipment; 

• Familiar with the procedures and precautions required for safe work at height;

• Fully conversant with the appropriate sections of the manufacturer’s instruction manual; 

• Familiar with the use of permit to work systems where they are required by the safe system of work, and able to operate them correctly; 

• Familiar with working on construction sites and site specific safety requirements; • Aware of their responsibilities under the Health and Safety at Work Act and supporting regulations;

 • Trained and competent in the pre use inspection, correct wearing and limitations of their personal protective equipment.


Training 

All tower crane maintenance personnel should be trained in a set of basic skills to enable them to work safely on site and participate effectively in the maintenance process. They should not be required to undertake tasks for which they have not been trained or assessed as competent to carry out. These basic skills should include the following.

• Understanding basic health and safety requirements, including the risk assessment process, together with need for site specific safety;

• Slinging and signalling; 

• Tool skills, including the selection and use of tools; 

• Identification, selection and fitting of fasteners; 

• Use, inspection and maintenance of fall protection equipment (working at height); 

• Interpretation of technical information, use of manuals;

• Basic assessment of weather conditions; 

• Product familiarity on all makes and models of crane on which maintenance is being carried out; 

• Preparing equipment for use including isolation of power sources etc; 

• Effective communication including the use and care of radio equipment;

• Carrying out basic adjustments; 

• Identifying and rectifying basic faults in equipment;

• Assisting with examinations and testing.


These basic skills can be augmented by the following as required: 

• Wire rope inspection and termination; 

• Use of specialist tools and equipment appropriate to the work being carried out (including torque wrenches, multipliers and hydraulic tensioning equipment); 

• Setting limits, including RCI/RCL; 

• Functional testing; • Carrying out complex adjustments; 

• Identifying and rectifying complex faults in equipment; 

• Identifying proximity hazards; 

• Welding and repair techniques.

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