Be my Guest… Robert Wilson

Be my Guest… Robert Wilson - image

Be my Guest… Robert Wilson

Robert Wilson, head of Member Engagement, has been working for LEEA for eight years and has a total of 42 years’ experience in the industry, previously in the wire rope sector, where he was based in Southeast Asia for a time. Here he tells us more about how the association is expanding globally and how to become a member. 

LEEA Member Engagement Services (MES) is a team of seven acting as the front facing part of the association covering the entire globe from the America's UK, Europe, Africa, Asia, Southeast Asia, including China and Australia, New Zealand.  

They engage with members, either on the phone, email or online, as well as carrying out technical audits to make sure members are compliant with local legislation, standards and industry best practice. 

“The association is going through a transition stage. Over the past few years, we've consolidated our membership and we've worked hard to get to where we are today. Currently we have 1,100 members globally. We're represented in 80 countries and if you break down the membership numbers, 60% of the membership is actually overseas,” he said. 

“The association is really strong in several global regions, such as the Middle East and Africa, which make up about a third of the total membership. 

“Many of those employed inspectors overseas are non-English speaking. Therefore, we've translated our training courses into four languages: Arabic, Bahasa, Brazilian Portuguese and simplified Chinese. 

“We serve 13 supply chains globally. The industries we serve are construction, logistics, oil and gas, energy, mining, renewables, to name a few. 

“We’ve been working on several projects over the past few years, the major one for us was the removal of the development member status. We now have three membership categories; Provisional, Associate and Full Member. 

“We're also working closely with like-minded associations such as the Associated Wire Rope Fabricators (AWRF) in the US. They hold several meetings a year and LEEA are invited to those meetings and on occasions we actually present. 

“They also asked us several years ago if we would audit their members. The audit was developed by LEEA according to the requirements set out by AWRF. The AWRF Accreditation program is an exciting new and completely voluntary opportunity for all AWRF member companies and their affiliate branches.” 

Wilson said LEEA is now looking to increase its members to 5,000, enrol 1,500 students a month onto its training programmes and get down to 0 for fatalities over the next five years. 

“We've added personnel in Southeast Asia recently, so we now have a local presence in the same time zone. This will benefit members in the region enormously. They no longer have to wait for an answer from the UK, which could be seven or eight hour’s time difference,” he added. 

“Southeast Asia and China are tremendous opportunities to recruit new members and spread the message of LEEA's Gold Standard to the region's significant users of lifting equipment. We've also established Regional Councils in Australia, New Zealand and the Middle East, and we will be setting up a Regional Council in Southeast Asia very soon.  

“The Australian and New Zealand Council have been operating for some time now. They have initiatives such as LiftEx Australia, vocational training packages and licenced training centres. The Middle East have just recently started, so they've got initiatives such as training end users and their own LiftEx in the Middle East. 

“We also continue to focus on end users and stakeholders in the regions. During our discussions with the end user stakeholders, we talk about awareness within the lifting industry. A lot of people who buy from our members, who aren't as informed as they could be can download our user guidance documents on our website. It's to teach people who aren't experts in lifting what they should be looking for when they're buying from local suppliers.” 

If a company is interested to join LEEA, Wilson said the process of doing that is first, if they are eligible to join, which means the organisation must be active in the lifting industry, and formally registered as a business and trading for at least 12 months.  

If they're not legible, they can still access LEEA training courses by registering as an individual trainee.  

“Once they're a member, they get full access to all LEEA services and they’ll get audited. They'll get access to technical advice, and access to training, they've got access to all the guidance documents on our website. So, there's a massive amount of information that members can draw on and we're constantly updating that all the time,” he said. 

Click HERE to watch the video on LEEA YouTube. 

For more information about #GLAD2024 visit  


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