FAQs – Lifting Equipment

What is lifting equipment?
Any equipment used to attach the load to the hook or load handling device of a crane, hoist or winch. Examples of common lifting equipment include lifting beams and frames, Spreader bars, etc.

What is SWL and what does it mean?

Safe Working limit (SWL) is the manufacturer’s or designers maximum recommended load that can be lifted ‘safely’. As this description is somewhat ambiguous the term SWL has been replaced with WLL (see below)

What is WLL and what does it mean?

Working load limit is the maximum load capacity the equipment is designed for. WLL is now used instead of SWL

Why is the safety of  lifting equipment so important?

Each year workplace injuries and deaths occur due to inadequate use, design and maintenance of lifting and other safety critical equipment. Reducing this risk by certification and appropriate design in the end helps save lives and reduce harm.

Who is able to certify lifting equipment?

A Chartered professional engineer (CPEng) may certify lifting equipment.

Why should the lifting equipment used at my place of work be certified?

The primary aim is safety, certified lifting equipment has been considered safe for lifting by a Chartered Professional Engineer. Safe lifting equipment leads to safer workplaces, leading to lower incidences of workplace injury and/or death.

The Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992, requires that designers, manufacturers and employers take all practicable steps to ensure the safety of those using or in the vicinity of their lifting equipment.

How can I learn more about lifting equipment safety?

For more information on lifting equipment use, design and manufacture best practice consult the following Approved Codes of Practice:

– ACOP Load-lifting rigging –

– ACOP Cranes – 

Who should I talk to about certifying my lifting equipment?

BVT offers extensive design, certification, design review and other services for most types of lifting equipment and have vast experience in this area.

If you have any other questions about Lifting Equipment  please let us know.