Know your Risks - Constructions Plant-Hire Association “CPA” Standard Crane Hire v Contract Lift Hire

John Knowlden, Director, KTIB

The most common form on hiring conditions in the UK are CPA . But are you aware of the responsibilities you are taking on when you hire in plant under these conditions?

As standard you will be accepting the principal risks of:

  • Damage to the plant hired
  • Continuing hire charges up until the plant can be off-hired
  • Public Liability for injury or damage arising out of the use of the plant
  • Damage or injury needs to be reported to the owners within 24 hours

So it’s important you arrange adequate insurance cover for the above exposures as soon as the plant is hired to you and until you off-hire it. 

There are also a plethora of Health & Safety requirements that will kick in.

“Contract Lift” the contract for the lifting or movements of goods involving a crane operation

These make provision for the owner to accept the insurance risks mentioned above when a lifting operation takes place, but only when it is specied as such and still does not relieve the hirers of its obligations to respond to negligence claims.

At all times the lift must be managed by someone who has the experience, knowledge and understanding of all aspects of the lifting operation – the Appointed Person.

Crane operations can be complex and if a hirer (whether an individual or organisation) does not have expertise in lifting operations they should always request the “Contract Lift” option.

Here is a quick guide to the requirements and responsibilities for both these types of operation:

CPA Crane hire

Customer responsiblities:

  • Supply of information of lift / ground
  • Selection of Cranes / Planning
  • Method Statement & Risk Assessment
  • Appointed Person
  • Insurance cover for Damage to the crane, Continuing hire charges during the repair, ​Lifted goods, Public Liability

CPA Contract Lift

Customer responsibilites:

  • Supply of information of lift / ground

Crane hire company responsibilities:

  • Selection of Cranes / Planning
  • Method Statement & Risk Assessment
  • Appointed Person
  • Insurance cover for Damage to the crane, Continuing hire charges during the repair, Lifted goods, Public Liability

Your Options Explained

CPA Crane Hire

Under the terms of a standard CPA Crane Hire contract the safe operation of the crane and the safety and the welfare of its operator is the customer’s responsibility. It is up to the customer to supply the Appointed Person who has the understanding, knowledge and experience of all aspects of the lifting operation and who will be responsible for all aspects of planning and execution of the lift.

The Hirer must:

  • Carry out all work in accordance with Bs7121
  • Provide third party liability and hired in plant insurance
  • Plan the lift and operate a safe system of work
  • Check the credentials of the crane hire company personnel and certications supplied

The Crane Owner has a duty to:

  • Provide a crane that is properly maintained, tested and certied
  • Provide a competent Crane Operator

CPA Contract Lift

Under the terms of a standard CPA Contract Lift, the safe operation of the crane and the safety and welfare of its operator are the crane owner’s responsibility. It is up to the crane owner to supply the Appointed Person who will be responsible for all aspects of planning and execution of the lift.

The Hirer should:

  • Specify that the crane owner is to supply the Appointed Person
  • Allow access to the site for a full survey to be performed for the Risk Assessment and Method Statement
  • Supply accurate information of the load to be lifted
  • Advise the Crane Owner of any potential hazards that are not evident from a site inspection including ground conditions

The Crane Owner is responsible for:​

  • Supplying the Appointed Person
  • Planning the lift and operation of a safe system of work
  • Organisation and control of the lifting operation

So if you are in any doubt as your ability to provide a competent person and manage the lifting process you should always request a “Contract Lift hire” and pass the principal insurance risks back to the crane hire company.

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