Codes of Practice




British Standards
ISO Standards
CEN/CENELEC (euronorm) Standards

The use of standards and codes


Approved Codes of Practice
Trade or Professional Codes of Practice
Recommended Codes of Practice
Technical Publications and Safety Information

Testing and examining
Marking and identification
WLL, SWL, Proof Load

The correct use of metric and imperial

Why change from imperial to metric?
Expressing metric units
Metric multiples and sub-multiples
Mass, force, weight and load
Practical conversions for use in rating lifting equipment

© Lifting Equipment Engineers Association 2009 – Unit 1.2


The purpose is to ensure that lifting equipment is designed and manufactured to be safe and that it is regularly maintained and examined whilst in service to ensure that it remains safe. Detailed guidance to assist the tester and examiner is provided by standards. suppliers. Particular attention is paid to the units of measurement used.Introduction The law places duties on manufacturers. codes of practice and manufacturer’s instructions. The verification of lifting equipment is the duty of the tester and examiner.2 2 . The legal requirements tend to be of a general nature. © Lifting Equipment Engineers Association 2009 – Unit 1. repairers and hirers of equipment to meet certain minimum requirements. Legal duties are also imposed on the owners and users of lifting equipment and on those who make the tests and examinations to verify the equipment. This unit looks at standards and codes of practice in a general way and considers how they apply to the duties of lifting equipment engineers.

1 Approved Codes of Practice (ACoP) In the UK. It is important that students are familiar with the ACoP and guidance that accompanies LOLER as it contains much useful information for the competent person. You may use alternative methods to those set out in the code in order to comply with the law. The LEEA has such a document reference LEEA 042 which is the Association’s Technical Requirements for Members. ACoPs have a quasi legal status.2 3 . then they will need to show that they complied with the law in some other way or a court will find them at fault. Most modern UK legislation. An ACoP gives practical advice on how to comply with the law. Although these have no legal status it is necessary to meet their requirements to be considered competent to carry out certain work. The regulations ACoPs and guidance are published combined in book form by HSE Books and can be purchased by mail order telephone: +44 (0) 1787 881165 fax: +44 (0) 1787 313995. Codes of Practice Various types of codes of practice are available to guide the tester and examiner.Safe use of work equipment L22 For LOLER – Safe use of lifting equipment L113 1. The references are as follows: For PUWER . © Lifting Equipment Engineers Association 2009 – Unit 1. personnel qualifications and quality systems which a lifting equipment company must maintain. These lay down minimum standards and requirements considered necessary by the industry or profession to perform certain duties or practice certain functions in a correct and proper way. Members of the LEEA must comply with these requirements. If you follow the advice you will be doing enough to comply with the law in respect of those specific matters on which the code gives advice. Such guidance is published for both PUWER and LOLER. to have this status.1. An ACoP is often accompanied by guidance which does not form part of the ACoP and does not have the same status but is used to give further explanation to the requirements of the ACoP and to illustrate good practice. This document contains the minimum requirements for equipment. a code must be approved by the Health and Safety Commission with the consent of the Secretary of State. 1. is published with an ACoP. There is no obligation to comply with an ACoP but if a person is prosecuted for a breach of health and safety law and it is proved that they did not follow the relevant provisions of the code. such as LOLER and PUWER.2 Trade or Professional Codes of Practice Another type of code of practice is the trade or professional code of practice.

or that what they were doing was equivalent to or better than the recommendations of the code. To support its members.The Code of Practice for the Safe Use of Lifting Equipment (COPSULE). Study of this code is an important element of this course and students should be familiar with its requirements. A person could be called upon to prove they were working to such a code. Each of the subsequent sections deals with one particular type of equipment and provides more detailed information. safe use and training of users.4 Technical Publications and Safety Information This covers a wide range of documents and textbooks. As well as giving guidance on the correct way to use the equipment the section includes the known bad practices to be avoided. the information required for the maintenance department to install. load security and stability. There are also appendices to section 1 dealing with matters of particular importance. they are recommended by the HSE as a way of meeting certain requirements of the Health and Safety at Work Act or of significantly adding to safety. It contains guidance and reference material on which work procedures should be based. The code is in sections and section 1 deals with general matters applicable to most types of lifting equipment. marking. 1. tester and examiner and students. Each section includes information on the relevant manufacturing standards and lists the faults and defects which can occur in use. for the training department. selection of equipment and the information needed to do so. crane signals and guidance on examination schemes. including manufacturer’s product installation and maintenance manuals. This is intended as a source of reference for organisations using lifting equipment. including this course. the requirements for storage and. The LEEA publishes such a code . the information the purchasing department will need to buy it. for example. handling and in-service inspection of the equipment.2 4 . commission and maintain it. These are suitable for issue with every item of lifting equipment © Lifting Equipment Engineers Association 2009 – Unit 1. planning of lifting operations. product catalogues and training manuals.3 Recommended Codes of Practice A recommended code of practice has no legal status. The LEEA also publishes Lifting Equipment – A User’s Pocket Guide which is based on COPSULE and acts as a quick reference for the rigger and slinger. The headings group the information relevant to the various departments in the user organisation. This information is presented under standard headings in all the sections. storage. Under this heading the LEEA publishes a range of training materials. there is the information needed for the engineer to select or specify the item. So. These include definitions. legal requirements. However. LEEA also publishes a range of single sheet safety information leaflets. 1. Another important document published by the LEEA is The Lifting Engineer’s Handbook.The Association carries out regular technical audits of its member organisations to ensure that they are complying with the Technical Requirements in the areas applicable to their scope of work. the information required to use it safely. These include estimation of weight. books covering workshop practices. This is intended for the lifting equipment engineer.

to use as a reference in day to day duties and for study purposes. particularly LOLER with its associated ACoP and guidance and the Code of Practice for the Safe Use of Lifting Equipment. 2. © Lifting Equipment Engineers Association 2009 – Unit 1. They are often used as the basis for writing national standards which may include more stringent requirements. Most of the products with which the student of this course is concerned are covered by British Standards. For compatibility purposes. British Standards are published directly by the British Standards Institute (BSI). Product standards take one of two forms:  fully specified standards. The provision of safe use information is required by the Health and Safety at Work etc Act and the Supply of Machinery (Safety) Regulations. Standards 2. (eg BS EN 13889 .  performance standards.Fork arms . is published as BS ISO 2330. which fully specify dimensions. which specify particular products. covering the use. ISO standards are published directly by ISO in Switzerland. these standards do not always reflect the latest technology. they are published as a British Standard. Where the UK accepts an ISO standard as written. (eg BS 4278 – Eyebolts).Shackles). Some standards take the form of recommended Codes of Practice. material specification etc. For example. However the tester and examiner should be familiar with the other types of standard available so we will briefly outline them here. such dimensions as are included are specified as maximum or minimum.2 ISO Standards ISO standards (or International Standards Organisation Standards) generally take the form of performance standards. materials and safe working loads. Now the practice is to use the ISO number and add the prefix BS. Modern standards for new products are written as performance standards.2 5 . At one time. 2.supplied or hired.1 British Standards Of prime concern to the student of this course are British Standards. maintenance or application of specific products or the conduct of certain processes. such standards were given their own BS number. Students should try to obtain their own copies of the documents mentioned above. ISO 2330 Fork lift trucks . because ISO members include some less technologically developed countries. They are agreed internationally by a majority vote but.Technical characteristics and testing. which specify the performance criteria that the product must meet but leave as open as possible the dimensions. In any event students need free access to them. tolerances.

If it was decided that the ISO standard was of no value. What was called the ‘new approach’ was adopted. When a manufacturer makes a product to the relevant EN standard it is deemed to comply with the ‘essential health and safety requirements’ of the Directive in so far as the standard addresses them.3 CEN/CENELEC Standards Within Europe.2 6 . 2. Each standard includes information on which of the essential health and safety requirements is relevant to the product and whether they are addressed. where the UK accepted some.com. These are the goals to be achieved rather than the method of achieving them. were treated for publication in the same way as ISO Standards. Not every ISO standard was taken up by BSI. cooperation between the various standards bodies has led to changes.In the past. which have both BS and EN numbers. Those accepted by the UK were published as dual numbered British Standards. Information on ISO standards can be found in the ISO Standards catalogue which can be accessed online at: www. of the contents of an ISO standard. then no action was taken. These harmonised EN standards have a quasi-legal status. The method of achieving those goals was left to a new system of standards prepared by CEN and CENELEC. CENELEC are the bodies responsible for European Standards. then known as euronorms. For example. or amendments were made which added to the requirements. The first such Directives had long technical annexes specifying the requirements for the products but the process of drafting them was taking far too long.htm In more recent times. These standards appear only with a BS number and it is necessary to refer to the British Standard catalogue to see the relationship with the International Standard.bsi-global. Wherever possible. but not all. it became necessary for goods to pass freely throughout the member states. these standards. European Directives (see Unit 1. a British Standard was published which omitted those parts to which objection was made. the EN standard does cover all the relevant © Lifting Equipment Engineers Association 2009 – Unit 1. Prior to the completion of the Single European Market in 1992. They are called harmonised European standards and carry the prefix EN. CEN and in the case of electrical equipment. This will be considered later.iso. The catalogue shows any relationship between the BS standard and an ISO standard. With the introduction of the Single European Market (European Union). an item made and tested in the UK must be accepted in any of the other states of the Union as complying with their standards and legal requirements.1) were introduced to provide common legal requirements for various products. If the tester and examiner are required to work to these standards.org/iso/iso_catalogue. their status can be checked by reference to the BSI Standards catalogue which can be accessed online at www. the subject was already adequately covered by a British Standard or demand would not have warranted a British Standard. The technical annexes of the new approach directives were restricted to the ‘essential health and safety requirements’. it contained mainly unacceptable requirements.

Manufacturers can use the standards to demonstrate that they are meeting all necessary legal requirements. without alteration. These manufacturing standards are all performance based and wherever possible avoid being prescriptive about dimensions. processes etc. Manufacturers that claim to be working to such standards but fail to meet them in full and are unable to show that they have achieved an equivalent result by other means are liable to prosecution. In effect. Their approach follows that taken in Europe. as harmonised standards by CEN as EN ISO. Once approved. Other national standards bodies follow the same format.essential health and safety requirements and that is the case for the standards relevant to this course. Manufacturers do not have to comply with a harmonised standard. its acceptance is published in the Official Journal of the European Union. Working to harmonised standards is the easiest way for manufacturers to demonstrate that they meet the legal requirements imposed by the Directive.1 Testing and examining From the above. It is mandatory that member states adopt these harmonised standards as national standards. To achieve the status of a harmonised standard. © Lifting Equipment Engineers Association 2009 – Unit 1. Therefore in most cases. its requirements become the legal minimum. and that they withdraw any existing or conflicting standards. This family of standards is being published by ISO. once a harmonised standard is in place. CEN does not publish standards directly. and with all CEN harmonised standards. we can see that reference to current British Standards ensures compliance with accepted ISO standards and euronorms. meaning that it should not be possible to manufacture an unsafe product which genuinely complies with the standard. 3. In the UK this is BSI which does so with a BS prefix. no matter which version of the standard is read. The use of Standards and Codes 3. an EN must be vetted on behalf of the European Commission to ensure that it does address the relevant essential health and safety requirements and is verifiable. and by the British Standard Institute as BS EN ISO. the requirements are the same. ie as a BS EN standard. This is to allow for technical innovation. it acts as a benchmark by which the authorities can judge any other specification. CEN and ISO are working together with national standard bodies from around the world with the aim of bringing all of the standards into line. in Germany the standard is published as DIN EN ISO. a UK based tester and examiner will only have to concern themselves with British Standards. For example. They are high quality standards. materials. However. where a harmonised standard has been published. In this way. They are published by the national standards bodies in each state. A more recent move is under way to bring standards throughout the world to the same high levels.2 7 .

the required accuracy of test machines or applied loads/forces will vary. This is necessary to fall within the range of accuracy laid down in most of the product standards. Standards specify the verification methods which may include type tests. if it is a BS EN standard. adequate strength and made from a suitable material. LEEA technical requirements call for all test machines and load/force measuring equipment to have a minimum accuracy of ±2%. it is the duty of the tester and examiner to ensure they are referring to the correct standard/edition for the product being tested or examined. sample tests. if an item complies with a British Standard the tester and examiner can be confident that it is of good construction.2 Construction Whilst not foolproof. or otherwise meets the essential health and safety requirements. such as the manufacturer’s instructions. For BS EN standards. in service. However. This gives general details of the various tests available and the information they will reveal. including older British Standards. the majority of thorough examinations the tester and examiner will do will be on items which are. individual load tests. If the item is CE marked this is. to which the equipment was manufactured.lists most of the relevant standards. The acceptance/rejection criterion is given in other publications. In other standards. a claim by the manufacturer (or whoever placed the item on the market in the EU) that the product complies fully with the requirements of the relevant European Directive. it should not be possible to manufacture an unsafe product which genuinely complies with the standard. or have been.Note: When dealing with existing equipment it is important that reference is made to the standard. This may not be the current British Standard.2 8 . Indeed as already stated. in effect. non-destructive tests (NDT) and other tests. However some standards require an accuracy of ±1%. Here guidance may be obtained from the LEEA’s The Lifting Engineer’s Handbook. it is often left to the tester and examiner to decide how to apply the test and what the examination procedure should be. However. LEEA document reference 015 Reference Library . the methods of verification must be specified in a way that gives repeatable results. 3. or edition of the standard. European and International Standards . Depending on the item. This means that it has been produced to a harmonised standard. They also give the acceptance and rejection criteria to be applied. age and the source of the standard. including some which have been withdrawn or declared obsolescent. It is updated on a regular basis. The Lifting Engineer’s Handbook and product specific units of this course. © Lifting Equipment Engineers Association 2009 – Unit 1. Standards are generally limited to new products.British. The Code of Practice for the Safe Use of Lifting Equipment lists the defects which can arise in service and which the examiner must consider when deciding whether the item is fit for a further period of service.

rather than de-rate them. the grade and to provide traceability to its documentation. although not always. 3.2 9 . Proof Load The working load limit (WLL) is the maximum load that an item of lifting equipment is designed to raise. This avoids the possibility of confusing a normally rated item with a de-rated item.The examiner can check what the item complies with by reference to the original documentation. Modern standards for general purpose lifting equipment require it to be marked with the WLL because the manufacturer will not know the conditions of use. (See the LEEA Code of Practice for the Safe Use of Lifting Equipment for full definitions and an explanation of these terms). © Lifting Equipment Engineers Association 2009 – Unit 1. In most cases this is the same value and does not create too much of a problem. However use of the prefix WLL is also acceptable. For example. In practice the capacity can be marked without the prefix SWL. In some standards and documents the WLL is referred to as the ‘maximum safe working load. often referred to as a ‘birth certificate’. lower or suspend under the particular service conditions. or other verification document such as a report of thorough examination. This should contain all relevant information about it including any standard it complies with. It is only in those special cases where equipment is de-rated and the SWL is less than the WLL that re-marking be necessary when the item is put into service. if an examination is being carried out on a site that was supplied with 100 shackles from the same batch. hand chain blocks and lever hoists. The safe working load will normally be the same value as the working load limit but it may be less if conditions are not ideal. However for portable items such as slings. LOLER requires that all lifting equipment be marked with its SWL. LEEA Technical Requirements therefore call for an individual identification mark at the point of sale. This presents the examiner with something of a problem once they have been in service. In some cases standards permit the use of batch numbering for new items. Items supplied since the Machinery Directive came into force should have an EC Declaration of Conformity and manufacturer’s certificate. lower or suspend under ideal conditions. The safe working load (SWL) is the maximum load as assessed by a competent person which an item of lifting equipment may raise.3 Marking and Identification British Standards lay down what marking is necessary and where and how it should be marked to fully identify the item. The identification should be unique so that it is clearly traceable to all relevant documentation. Items supplied before the Machinery Directive came into force usually had a test certificate. Safe Working Load (SWL). In fact the guidance to LOLER (paragraph 188) acknowledges the use of alternative terms including WLL. this only applies to permanently installed items. if the conditions are not ideal. it is good practice to achieve this by specifying normally rated items with a higher capacity. shackles. Older standards specify the SWL. 3. how does the examiner ensure that all of them have been checked and are safe? The chances are that at least one will not be found. the WLL or SWL. Generally.4 Working Load Limit (WLL).

a few older imperial standards remain current. Many users wish to have all of their equipment rated in the same units. is a decimal system with a logical progression of 10 between the units.1 Why change from imperial to metric? The imperial system was formed haphazardly. Originally it was based on nonconstant standards. For example: 12 inches = 1 foot. was internationally adopted in 1960. Both imperial and metric systems contain many units and divisions of units. As technology advanced it became necessary to introduce a fixed base standard . but the standard refers to units of load. 3 feet = 1 yard. © Lifting Equipment Engineers Association 2009 – Unit 1. As with so many attempts at standardisation. with no direct relationship between the units. For example: 10 millimetres = 1 centimetre. One factor to justify changing is the ease of learning. with precision components from different countries of origin being assembled into a final product.4. Some international standardisation was therefore needed. Not only did the imperial system form haphazardly. The correct use of metric and imperial Although modern lifting equipment standards are based on the metric system. When dealing with any aspect of lifting equipment it is essential that these units and conventions are understood.a national standard.2 10 . as with the imperial system. in contrast. 10 centimetres = 1 decimetre. For example. mass and force. a limited range of units and certain conventions in terms of how they are expressed have been adopted. This only became a problem when international trade expanded. there are often two or more methods each vying for superiority. When specifying and testing lifting equipment. This is also important where test machines are used to apply a force. The metric system is therefore a simpler system to learn and apply and by the 1970s was adopted for all new British Standards. Even then variations existed between the actual measures and weights used in one country to another. The metric system. However. marking and testing of lifting equipment. Instead. and the conversion from one system to another. the inch used in America was shorter than the inch used in the UK. The metric SI system soon gained in popularity. such as a foot being the length of a man's foot. A vast amount of lifting equipment made to and rated in the imperial system also remains in service. the SYSTEME INTERNATIONAL D'UNITS (international system of units). known as the SI system. For these reasons the tester and examiner must be able to convert from one system of units to another. To avoid confusion. Their use. This meant that wide variations existed. there were ambiguities in the older metric system as practised from one country to another. 1760 yards = 1 mile. 10 decimetres = 1 metre. but it was also a random system. the units of concern are length. 4. The main competitor to the Imperial system was the metric system. albeit the variations were tiny. not all of them are used in the rating. will now be considered. To overcome these problems.

which is relevant to the tester and examiner. Watt = W. so some care is needed. This is partly to avoid confusion on drawings where the symbol is not commonly shown. the Newton abbreviated as N and the Watt abbreviated as W. Where it is derived from someone’s name.01 0. kiloWatt = kW. An example of this.001 Prefix Symbol Mega kilo hecto deca deci centi milli M k h da d c m These terms are applied to show the multiplication or division of the base unit. millimetre = mm. for any reason. the dimension will be identical. An upper case T is used as the abbreviation for the unit of magnetic flux. This takes its name from Sir Isaac Newton due to his early work on gravity.3 Metric multiples and sub-multiples The metric system uses standard terms for the multiples and sub-multiples of the various base units as shown in the following table: Factor by which unit is multiplied: 1000000 1000 100 10 1 0. There are a few exceptions. For example.1) of a gram is known as a decigram and 1000 grams is known as a kilogram. eg MegaNewton = MN. but it is important to use this convention to avoid any confusion between the units.250 m and would therefore appear as 1250 or © Lifting Equipment Engineers Association 2009 – Unit 1.4.2 11 . For example the gram is the base unit of mass in the metric system. Therefore a WLL or SWL should always be shown as xxt and never xxT.1 0. As with the unit names. is the unit of force . This applies wherever the abbreviation appears.2 Expressing metric units Care is needed when writing.the Newton. For example. Other multiples or sub-multiples are not used. 4. Many of the SI units take their names from historical people associated with the unit. stamping or marking the names of the metric units. This is known as the millimetre (mm). This then leads to some unusual capitalization.4 Length The base unit of length within the SI metric system is the metre (m). the decimal point is omitted or obscured. eg 1250 mm = 1. Thus it can be seen that 1/10th (0. the unit is usually written with a capital letter and the abbreviation for the unit is an upper case letter. the symbols for the divisions and multiples also use upper and lower case letters. the SI unit of mass is the tonne and its abbreviation is a lower case t. eg Mega = M and milli = m. 4. If the unit is not derived from someone’s name the unit is always written with a lower case letter which is also used for its abbreviation. Industry and standards accept the thousandth (ie 3 decimal places) as the only subdivision. If. particularly if they are being abbreviated where the same letter may be common to more than one unit.

Therefore other subdivisions are not used for reasons of clarity. 3/64. This too is inconvenient and would lead to confusion. but this is much too small for every day use.250.2 12 . meaning is obvious by the relative scale of the dimensions.4 = 120 inches = 10 feet Mass.000kg) therefore has its own name. The SI basic unit of mass is the gram. as there would be at least seven digits for even relatively light loads. We all know that everything weighs less on the Moon than on Earth because the force of gravity on the Moon is less. 1/16. only two are used when discussing lifting equipment. For precision work and conversion purposes it is often necessary to subdivide the millimetre. in everyday language we say that a load weighs X kilograms or Y tonnes meaning the force exerted by gravity on a mass of X kilograms or Y tonnes.4 = 8229. obtaining a progression of 1/64. The force of gravity acts on a mass and we generally think of this as weight. whilst the Megagram is used for heavier ones.4 mm. 1000 kilograms (kg) = 1 tonne (t) © Lifting Equipment Engineers Association 2009 – Unit 1. weight and load 4.1 mm (ii) 27 ft = 27 x 12 = 324 inches = 324 x 25. The others are too large. 5/64.98 inches (iv) 3.048 m = 3048 mm ÷ 25.  For small items the inch (abbreviation = in or ") is used. The Megagram (1. a given mass can be said to weigh the same wherever it is on Earth. the tonne. Examples: 4. The kilogram (kg) is used for light measurements.4 = 5. force. so this is not considered here. plural of foot = feet. The Although there are several units of length within the imperial system.2296 m (iii) 152 mm = 152 ÷ 25.  For larger items the foot (abbreviation = ft or ') is used. for example.1. The mass of a body remains unchanged irrespective of where it is. These subdivisions are expressed as decimals. 1/32.  Sub-division of the inch is by fractions based on 1/64 or multiples thereof. Although these are units of mass. 3/32 etc. The force of gravity does vary a little on Earth.  Sub-division of the foot is by the inch and there are 12 inches to 1 foot.5 x 25. However. However for practical purposes.000grams or 1.000. decimals of an inch to three or four places are used.5 (i) 2 ft 7½ inches = 24 + 7½ = 31½ inches = 31.1 Mass Mass is the amount of matter in a body. such items are of little concern when dealing with lifting equipment. the conversion 1 inch = 25.5.6 mm or 8.4 = 800.  Plural of inch = inches. It is also true that when machining items which are required to fit or run together.

a further sub-division is used .892 tons (UK) Note: Caution is needed when dealing with items of USA origin. The relationship between the metric weight and imperial weight is as follows: 1 tonne = 2204 lbs and 1 ton = 2240 lbs. per second. a 1. the force of gravity acts on a mass and we generally think of this as weight.Within the imperial system. older equipment was often rated in (US) tons without the ‘US’ being shown. Weight is the measure of the particular force due to the action of gravity. Hence: Force (N) = mass (kg) x acceleration (m/s²). However it has been agreed that for practical purposes of conversion: 1 ton = 1 tonne and therefore 1 cwt = 50 kg Note: The metric tonne and the imperial ton both have the same pronunciation. 4.6% difference. As with the imperial units of length. Force is actually a combination of the mass of the body and the acceleration of the body. there is no regular relationship between the units so: 112 lbs = 1 cwt. Where confusion may arise. such as federal specification shackles found commonly in use in the oil industry. gives an acceleration of one metre per second. when applied to a body having a mass of one kilogram. This is defined as that force which. to accelerate a car quickly than to accelerate it slowly. in North America a unit called the ton (US) or short ton is sometimes used. In the metric system the SI unit of force is the Newton (N).806 N (force). Although now marked in metric units.806 m/s². the units of weight that are used in association with lifting equipment are the hundredweight (cwt) and ton. Acceleration due to gravity on the earth’s surface is 9. or tries to move. In calculation. We can easily understand that it takes more power.2 13 . 1 ton (US) = 2000 pounds = 0.2 Force A force is something that moves. 20 cwt (2240 lbs) = 1 ton Just to confuse matters. and when dealing with pressure and stress. As previously stated. Therefore using the above formula it can be seen that: 1 kg (mass) x 9. For most practical purposes. the body on which it acts.the pound (lb).806 m/s² (acceleration) = 9. ie force. Similarly it take more power to accelerate a heavy car (greater mass) at the same rate as a light car. the weight of 1 kg = a force of 10N © Lifting Equipment Engineers Association 2009 – Unit 1. it is normal to say ‘metric tonne’ in conversation.5.

The British Standards Institute offered the following guidance with regard to marking SWL (or WLL) when converting from imperial to metric units: "Safe Working Loads of less than 1000kg should be marked in kilograms to the nearest whole kilogram. © Lifting Equipment Engineers Association 2009 – Unit 1. Although what is actually being applied to the sling is a force. this system is not always followed. When metric standards require a load test. Webbing slings and roundslings in particular are often marked only in kg and small forgings such as eyebolts where space is limited are often marked in t. some is carried out on a test machine. The following table gives examples of the conversions. eg . For example a single leg chain sling of 500 kg WLL which is to be proof tested to twice its WLL would be subject to a proof test force of 10 kN.000 kg = 1 tonne Some lifting equipment is tested using weights but.25t. a single leg sling of ½ ton SWL which is to be proof load tested to twice its SWL would be subject to a test load of 1 ton.25t. ie the force due to gravity. as it requires less space than 250kg. which are expressed as weights. for integral values of SWL the ‘0’ after the decimal point should be omitted. the test machines were usually calibrated in units of load rather than force. this is expressed in units of force.000 N = 100 kg and 10 kN = 1. items manufactured to imperial standards may be found in use alongside equipment to metric standards. so the kiloNewton (kN) and MegaNewton (MN) are used. 4. it may be desirable to have all of the equipment on a site marked in the same system of units. In the imperial system. Only one place of decimals should be used except for 1. The terms ‘weight’ and ‘load’ have the same meaning. the old lifting equipment standards refer to loads and proof loads." It must be acknowledged that. To avoid operator error. despite the advantages of a standardised conversion.6 Practical conversions for use in rating lifting equipment Because many items of lifting equipment have a long life. Using the above example.2 14 . for various reasons. Therefore: 1 kiloNewton (kN) = 1.The Newton is too small a unit for every day use in the lifting industry. others can then be calculated on the same basis. not a weight so it is calibrated in units of force. not a load. The test machine applies a force. SWLs of 1000kg or more should be marked in tonnes.

(ii) 1 ton 5 cwt = 1. © Lifting Equipment Engineers Association 2009 – Unit 1. This form of questioning enables a wide scope of coverage in a short period of time. For weight an approximate conversion is used. so that at no time would a piece of lifting equipment be overloaded.1 t.4 t 1 Ton 19 cwt = 1.2 15 .9 t 10 cwt = 500kg 1 Ton 8 cwt = 1.4 t 2 Ton = 2 t 15 cwt = 750kg 1 Ton 10 cwt = 1. Examples: 4. It has also addressed their relationships and the conversion factors used when converting from the imperial system to the metric system and vice versa.8 t. For the conversion of length a factor is used which gives an exact conversion.6 t 1 Ton 2 cwt = 1. However. as the second decimal place is disregarded. the exact conversion would be 1.3 t 1 Ton 17 cwt = 1.7 t 1 Ton 4 cwt = 1. Conclusion This section has outlined the units used in association with lifting equipment.6 t 1 Ton 3 cwt = 1. (iii) 4 ton 17 cwt = 4.7 (i) ¾ ton = 750 kg. To help prepare students for the examinations. The questions are typical of those that may be asked in the exam although only a limited number on this topic will be included on any exam paper.15t.Examples of the conversions: 1 cwt = 50kg 1 Ton = 1 t 1 Ton 11 cwt = 1.25 t 1 Ton 16 cwt = 1. In everyday life these same approximations can be used to visualise the quantity or length of an item measured in either system even if that system of measurement is unfamiliar. this becomes 1.25 t. the Assignment to this unit is in the form of a multi-choice paper.1 t 1 Ton 14 cwt = 1. 1 ton 3 cwt.8 t 1 Ton 6 cwt = 1. However it is normally rounded off to a single millimetre decimal place.5 t 1 Ton 1 cwt = 1 t 1 Ton 12 cwt = 1.2 t 1 Ton 15 cwt = 1.7 t 1 Ton 5 cwt = 1.8 t 1 Ton 7 cwt = 1.1 t 1 Ton 13 cwt = 1.9 t 12½ cwt = 625kg 1 Ton 9 cwt = 1. which operates on the safe side.5 t 2 cwt = 100kg 5 cwt = 250kg 7½ cwt = 375kg It will be noted from the table that in the case of.3 t 1 Ton 18 cwt = 1. similar to that used in the Part 1 Entry Examination. say.