Can you maintain and inspect?

Can you maintain and inspect? - image

Can you maintain and inspect?

Can the person that maintains lifting equipment be the same person that does the thorough examination?  Bernie Winter of LEEA Technical Services answers this frequently asked question.

One of the more common questions we receive at LEEA is: can a person that maintains lifting equipment be the same person that does the thorough examination?

Based on standards and legislation, LEEA requires the competent person to be sufficiently independent and impartial to allow objective decisions to be made. With this in mind the question should really be: ‘can you check your own work?’ It is LEEA’s view that the answer to this question would depend on the complexity of the thorough examination.

For example, the thorough examination of a mechanically assembled chain sling following a repair is not a complicated task for a competent person to ascertain whether or not it has been assembled correctly. Whereas a thorough examination of a hoist following an overhaul of the lifting and braking mechanism is.

Therefore, the duty holder or the employer of persons doing the thorough examination should assess the risks in terms of complexity of the maintenance and subsequent thorough examination. The risk assessment should consider whether or not the examiner could be considered as being impartial, bearing in mind that the examiner is likely to assume that they have done a great job and, as a result, is perhaps not be as thorough as they ought to be. Sometimes a second pair of eyes will be better placed to act impartially and to see any  defects associated with the maintenance. After all, human error is the root cause of a significant proportion of incidents.

It is also important to note the BS 7121-2 series of standards state: ‘it is essential that the person that does the thorough examination is not the same person that did the maintenance. Therefore with cranes in the UK it would perhaps be advisable to follow the guidance given in the standard’.


Seeking answers

This is a good example of the frequently asked questions we receive on the LEEA Technical Team and Technical Committee, which brings me a new and very useful technical advice feature we’d like to make you aware of.

Over the years through our work and expertise we have curated a wealth of knowledge, which can be found in our library of information and guidance documents available on There is even a list of frequently asked questions, such as the one I’ve answered here.

To help improve access to that knowledge we recently launched a Chatbot tool on and the LEEA Connect app. This provides members and non-members with technical support. Designed to making guidance on the safe use of lifting equipment even more accessible, quicker and easier to find, the Chatbot will also improve LEEA’s ability to transfer its knowledge on safe practice to achieve the goal of zero accidents, injuries and fatalities in lifting and height safety industries.

The Chatbot seeks out keywords in the question and searches for an answer from a knowledge base currently comprising the LEEA Code of Practice for the Safe Use of Lifting Equipment (COPSULE), all FAQs and a range of non-technical information hosted on This means the Chatbot’s answers are always linked to official LEEA guidance. Answers for non-member questions are drawn from the copious library of free content on, while members have additional access to the member-only guidance content.

A LEEA branded transcript of the conversation is automatically provided via an email after interaction, with links to relevant further reading. The Technical Team is on standby to help if the Chatbot answer is unsatisfactory. Our guidance remains applicable globally because the team works on the principle of best practice, rather than national guidance. So, we hope this will offer value as a way of answering your technical questions, wherever you are in the world. 


For further information email

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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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