Find out about LEEA's history

Read on for a timeline of major milestones in the Association's history...

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The idea to form an association to take on the might of government was conceived and the London Chain Testers Association was founded. The Association made quick progress on negotiations with the government and soon turned their attention to other areas where cooperative action would be mutually beneficial.


As the Association’s geographical boundaries expanded across the UK, there was a name change to the Chain Testers Association of Great Britain.


The Chain Testers’ Handbook was published, which brought together for the first time all the essential information required by the ‘man at the bench’ – the chain tester.


An examination scheme for lifting equipment engineers was introduced.


The Code of Practice for the Safe Use of Lifting Equipment (COPSULE) was launched.


Training courses were introduced to prepare students for exams that are today sat by more than a thousand candidates around the world each year


The Association’s named changed for a third time to the Lifting Equipment Engineers Association. This reflected the far wider range of activities our member companies were involved in.


A new piece of legislation, the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations (LOLER), had a huge impact and meant LEEA’s training, qualifications and publications had to be fundamentally reworked. LEEA’s support and guidance became even more important to members obliged to comply with the new requirements. In the absence of sector-specific health and safety legislation, many companies operating in other parts of the world began to adopt LOLER as best practice, further enhancing the appeal of LEEA membership.


The LiftEx trade show was launched.


LEEA moved into new headquarters with a purpose built training centre


TEAM Card registration and identity scheme for qualified engineers and technicians was introduced.


Perhaps the most striking is LEEA’s transformation into a truly international body. Regardless of where they are based, there is now no distinction between members – all are subject to the same technical audits prior to being granted full membership, with regular follow-up visits as long as they wish to remain part of the association. We have dedicated local groups operating in the Middle East and Australia.  LEEA staff have become globetrotters as we regularly meet existing and potential members, as well as a host of other stakeholders, right across the world.

What next?

2019 sees LEEA celebrate our 75th anniversary with a suite of initiatives as we look to the future and sustainability of our industry:

  • Think Lifting Schools Engagement Programme
  • The Apprenticeship Standard
  • 75:75 Military Transition Scheme
  • Enhancing the audit process and raising the bar of membership
  • Conducting more training at members’ premises and online
  • Set up of a technical triage system
  • Launch of the 9th edition of the COPSULE
  • Hosting more member events, including LEEA’s Parliamentary Reception

Stay up to date with the latest developments in our News & Events section.

Need technical advice?

For technical advice on lifting equipment matters, email our Technical Services team. This service is free to members and we will reply within two working days.

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