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Crane Hiring

Posted by on in Renewable Energy Blog
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Hiring a Crane? Some points to be sure of.....

Nsure Renewables, specialist insurance brokers to the renewable energy industry, have been involved in the insuring of wind farms both in construction and operation for over 15 years, and are often asked about crane hire and the inherent risks involved from an insurance perspective. The answer really stems from the decision by you or your company as to which type of hire agreement is likely to be entered into.

All crane hire companies work to the terms and conditions of the CPA (Construction Plant Hire Association) and in accordance with BS7121 ("The Safe Use of Cranes"). However, there are clear differences between the two options available – either a CPA crane hire agreement or a Contract Lift agreement. Make sure you are fully aware of your responsibilities before you enter into an agreement to hire, as the ramifications can be costly and serious.

CPA Crane Hire
In accordance with Health and Safety Executive guidelines crane hire companies can only provide a crane on a CPA Crane Hire basis if you, as the hirer, provide a qualified and experienced appointed person to plan and take responsibility for the lifting operation.
Under the terms of a standard CPA Crane Hire Agreement, the crane and the operator are your responsibility once the crane leaves the public highway in order to access a site. This includes travel on any access roads in the event that the site is not immediately adjacent to the public highway.
Your company's Appointed Person is responsible for planning the lift and all the personnel and equipment involved. In addition, under CPA model conditions, your company, as the hirer, must provide insurance cover for the following:
• loss or damage to plant and equipment hired whilst on site and under your control;
• loss or damage to the goods being lifted;
• continuing hiring charges whilst the equipment is unable to work as a result of loss or damage;
• legal liability - injury to the driver / operator whilst under your supervision and control along with injury to third parties, including damage to their property, arising from crane operations.

In the event that you do not have the necessary insurances, crane hire companies can waive these requirements subject to an increase in the hire rate charged, but your company will still retain responsibility for its' own acts of negligence, and it would be prudent to check what insurances and limits the crane hire company will provide.

CPA Contract Lift
In this high risk industry, if you are not experienced in hiring cranes and therefore are not aware of your responsibilities duties and the risks involved, you should consider a CPA Contract Lift service for your lifting requirements.
Under the terms of a standard CPA Contract Lift, the crane, equipment, operator and all personnel supplied with the crane, (including the Appointed Person / Crane Supervisor) are the responsibility of the crane owner. The crane owner is responsible for all aspects of the planning and execution of the lift and will provide insurance cover for the following:
• loss or damage to plant and equipment caused solely by the owner's negligence in the performance of the lifting contract;
• loss or damage to third party property caused solely by the owner's negligence in the performance of the lifting contract subject to:
o a maximum liability of £25,000 in respect of goods lifted;
o a maximum liability of £5 million in respect of loss of or damage to third party property or death / injury to third party persons.
You can ask for the above limits to be increased, subject to an increase in the hire rate. You should make sure such limits are enough to meet the requirements of the project you are undertaking.
It is important to note that a CPA Crane Hire agreement only becomes a CPA Contract Lift when the crane owner supplies the Appointed Person / Crane Supervisor and hence, accepts liability for planning and supervising the lift.
Under Contract Lift conditions, you still retain certain liabilities and therefore you should check that your insurance arrangements are sufficient to provide protection against potential incidents arising from:
• own negligence
• inadequate or unstable ground conditions
• inadequate or incorrect information supplied in connection with the goods being lifted.

Make sure your insurance requirements are adequate for the project you are about to undertake, particularly if such a project will involve the hiring of equipment and cranes. If you are unsure as to what insurances you may need, seek professional advice from your insurance broker before entering into any agreement.

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