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Key Programme 2 Deck and Drilling Operations

A Guide to the Management and Control of Portable Lifting Equipment and Lifting Accessories Offshore (Rigging Loft Guidance)

1  Background

1.1 HSE’s Offshore Division (OSD) initiated Key Programme 2 (KP2) in 2003 in response to unacceptable accident statistics from deck and drilling operations offshore. A programme review in 2005 resulted in a closer focus on the management of lifting operations offshore within these two areas of activity, lifting operations having been seen to contribute significantly to fatalities and major injuries.

1.2 This revised programme, known as KP2 Phase 2, ran from December 2005 to March 2007. Its targets were: zero fatalities and a 20% reduction, from 2001/2002 statistics, of deck and drilling lifting related incidents and injuries.

1.3 One of the areas in which there were recurring failures was that of the management and control of portable lifting equipment and lifting accessories.

1.4 The purpose of this short guide, drawn from best practices identified during the programme, is to provide managers and supervisors with information to support effective management of lifting operations offshore.

2  Key Management Elements

2.1 The Rigging Loft

The generally accepted approach to managing portable lifting equipment and lifting accessories offshore is via a rigging loft, whether supplied by a third party on a six monthly rota, or owned by the dutyholder and the contents thoroughly examined by a competent person at six monthly intervals.

The basic functions of the rigging loft is to ensure that portable lifting equipment and lifting accessories are:

  1. stored to reduce the risk of accidental damage and to slow down deterioration;
  2. effectively controlled so as to prevent unauthorised use;
  3. given pre use checks prior to use;
  4. removed from service when their condition has deteriorated such that they are no longer in good repair and quarantined prior to returning onshore for repair or disposal.

2.2 The rigging loft should be placed in a suitable location, which provides an adequate degree of protection from weather, installation activity, and allows good access and egress.

2.3 The loft should be secure, weather tight, well lit, suitably heated when required, and of a size sufficient for uncluttered storage of the equipment with provision of a work area/bench for the controller and others. A quarantine bin is necessary for pre-shipping storage of equipment removed from service. This is normally located in the loft but, if located outside, should be secured to prevent unauthorised access. The current lifting colour code should be clearly displayed.

2.4 Rigging Loft Controller

This person should be competent for the role and preferably have some degree of authority. The former is for the obvious reason of having adequate experience and knowledge of lifting and lifting equipment to be able to carry out the task, the latter to assist them in ensuring others comply with related procedures e.g. timely return of equipment.

2.5 It is recommended that only the loft controller issues equipment and maintains the loft registers. KP2 found that the most effective rigging loft control was through a single competent responsible person.

2.6 Loft and Equipment Control Registers

The rigging loft register should contain the certification and description of all equipment controlled via the loft. It is recommended that this is all of the installation’s portable lifting equipment and lifting accessories as the inspection programme found that splitting control departmentally e.g. deck/drilling, lead to differing qualities of control.

2.7 The certification will include the declaration of conformity, the current report of thorough examination and, should any testing have been undertaken, the certificate of test.

2.8 Equipment inspections should be made on receipt of the loft or equipment, prior to use, on the return of the equipment and should  be logged accordingly.

2.9 The rigging loft control register, a separate document, should provide the following details of equipment taken out of the loft:

Some companies employ a “T” card system in place of a register. Whatever the approach, the information required is the same.

2.10 Return of Equipment

The inspection programme found that the returning of equipment and in-service inspection of equipment in use to be a recurring and ongoing problem. The competence and authority of the loft controller, making weekly checks on equipment in use, will mitigate this. However, it is suggested, and one company has had good results with this approach, that responsibility for equipment in use be put upon the head of the department that has it. Whatever approach is taken, timely return of equipment to the rigging loft is necessary for effective control.

3 Control of lifting slings

There should be a clear and enforceable policy on the use of transit slings and third party lifting equipment. Where such items are to be quarantined prior to shipping, adequate and relevant storage should be provided.

All other slings should be controlled via the rigging loft. This includes such items as webbing slings as these had been found on a number of occasions to be overlooked in lifting equipment control. There should also be a documented and well-communicated standard on the rejection standards for slings to prevent the operational use of any damaged or suspect slings.

4  Legal Requirements

There are legal requirements for the certification and control of lifting accessories.

  1. All lifting accessories should be supplied with a certificate of conformity and instructions for use. It is good practice to keep a copy of the instructions in the rigging loft  [Supply of Machinery (Safety) Regulations 1992 Regulation 12],
  2. All lifting accessories should be thoroughly examined by a competent person at six monthly intervals or in accordance with a scheme of examination [Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 (LOLER) Regulations 9(1) and 9(3)],
  3. All lifting accessories should have reports of thorough examination available for inspection [LOLER Regulation 11(2)],
  4. All lifting accessories having adverse reports of thorough examination should be repaired or taken out of service [LOLER Regulation 10(3)],
  5. All lifting accessories should be stored securely to reduce the risk of accidental damage and to slow the onset of deterioration [LOLER Regulation 8(1)(c) and ACOP paragraph 289],
  6. All lifting accessories should be controlled so as to prevent unauthorised use [LOLER Regulation 8(1)(c) and ACOP paragraph 285],
  7. All lifting accessories should be subjected to a pre-use check [LOLER Regulation 8(1)(c) and ACOP paragraph 285],
  8. All lifting accessories should be taken out of service should their condition deteriorate so that they are no longer in good repair [Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER).

5  Further Information

Any queries relating to this guidance should be addressed to:

Health and Safety Executive
Hazardous Installations Directorate
Offshore Division
Lord Cullen House
Aberdeen
AB25 3UB
Fax: 01225 252648
Updated 2012-12-13