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Supporting health and social care providers in Devon

Reminder for all staff in the use of hoists

a hoistBackground:

There has been another recent incident where there was significant risk of injury to the individual being hoisted when a gantry hoist collapsed.

There have also been several earlier incidents where gantry hoists have collapsed.

No fault was found with the equipment in any of the cases.

The faults were deemed to be due to “unintentional misuse / user error”.

Actions required before each lift/operation:

For All Hoists – Always:-

Complete a visual check of the hoist unit/sling condition and report IMMEDIATELY any wear or damage.
Check that the servicing and safety checks are valid and in date (usually shown on stickers on the hoist).
Ensure you are familiar with the equipment operating instructions.
Ensure that you are familiar with how to use the type of sling and the handling plan for the individual.
Report any unusual noises or changes in how the hoist operates IMMEDIATELY to the equipment provider and do NOT use until a servicing check has been completed.
The emergency lower facility should only be used in extreme circumstances.  If the emergency lower operation has been required, report the use of this to the equipment provider IMMEDIATELY and do NOT use until a servicing check has been completed. (Please see separate Robin Hoist Emergency Stop Guidance Document.

For Gantry Hoists – Always: –

Ensure the gantry hoist is securely installed as per the manufacturer’s instructions supplied with the equipment.
Ensure Vertical Hoist Lifting of Service Users At All Times. When hoisting service users, the hoist straps and lifting motor MUST be positioned vertically above the service user. If the hoist straps and motor are not positioned vertically above the service user, it will cause excessive wear to the hoisting equipment, can cause the hoist to fail, become unsafe and potentially put the safety of the service user and carers at risk.
Gantry hoists can collapse if used incorrectly.
Gantry Hoists can be at risk of collapse if moved e.g. due to a collision.Gantry hoists are considered the temporary hoisting solution unless there are specific environmental reasons why a ceiling track hoist cannot be installed.

Ceiling track hoists are a permanent and safer hoisting solution:

Care Agencies should contact their Moving & Handling Advisor and request a reassessment with the aim of replacing a gantry hoist with a permanent ceiling track hoist if at all possible.

For equipment provided through Millbrook (Devon Community Equipment Service provider) :-

Contact Millbrook 0330 124 4491 if you need to check the LOLER (Safety) test expiry date of any hoists and slings you are using.

To continue to ensure the safety of both those you support and your staff, please ensure that this guidance is made readily available and that all staff are familiar with the requirement and actions.

Sarah Cambridge – Principal Occupational Therapist Devon County Council    16.10.19

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