Global Lifting Awareness Day 2022

GLAD 2022 puts the spotlight on the battle with gravity – its impact on lifting assets, working at height, and operating safely in evermore challenging circumstances. However, while gravity is essential to our way of life, at Osprey, we believe gravity also holds hidden value too – for our clients, for the logistics industry in general and for QHSE professionals in particular. We should never underestimate the gravity of every situation, but gravity is also our motivation, and gravity can be a force for good.

Understanding the gravity of the situation

QHSE is our priority. A failure to respect gravity can have severe or even life-threatening consequences. To mitigate risks and overcome those challenges, Osprey’s teams make a 24/7 commitment to working safely. This is our responsibility, legally, but we also make it a key part of our core culture – we are a business that’s been built on having family values, and taking care of each other is what we do. We want QHSE to drive us forward, professionally, into a way of working that is totally productive – not just mitigating the risks to people and our clients’ assets, but eliminating it wherever we can.

Continuously, we are feeding our learnings back into the safety cycle, so that we can maintain the highest standards in our approach to safe lifting and working at height. To that end, we make no apology for being proud of comments received from Osprey clients, who tell us that our lifting teams demonstrate class-leading attitudes to working safely on site.

Gravity is our motivation

Every asset and component we transport, has to overcome the pull of gravity. Tackling that challenge, is what enables us to shine as a service provider. Whether the assets we’re moving need to move up or down, we have to ensure we’re executing each movement not at the mercy of gravity, but rather, in a safe and controlled manner. From the first phone call to the last page of a reflective report, our team of appointed persons, supervisors and riggers work together to ensure every lift is properly planned and safely executed.

Ben Young, Project Engineer;

“Our team is committed to ensuring every lift, no matter how big or small, is properly planned and safely executed.”

We have to understand the load. What’s its total mass at the time of lift and its overall dimensions? Where is the centre of gravity? Does it have OEM lifting points, where are they and how can we make best of them? Where are we lifting – what impact is gravity having on the ground, what’s the composition and are there any services below the intended lift location? The myriad factors involved make lifting a specialism. From outrigger specifications to load-spreading; counterweight needs, boom lengths and optimal configurations; decisions about hook blocks and reevings; and wind-speed calculations – our teams consider all of these points carefully in detailed lift plans. Gravity is working against us most of the time, and we overcome that challenge by executing each lift as a unique opportunity for our teams to excel and demonstrate our experience.

Gravity as a force for good

It is simple to say, ‘what goes up, must come down’, but we are also harnessing the forces of gravity in new ways now, to enable even more innovative applications of our equipment. Drawing on our marine heritage, Osprey’s lifting teams are constantly adapting the ways in which we transport and install assets without making compromises to site safety.

Dean Sadler, Crane Engineer;

“Industry is pushing the boundaries for lifting now. We take pride in maintaining our equipment, to deliver for clients who are exploring the possibilities with larger assets.”

Our teams have learned how to harness natural forces, like gravity and tidal pressures, and how to use project asset-weights to our advantage. In all of the industries in which we work, manufacturers and clients are now pushing the boundaries of lifting tolerances. Particularly with a view to meeting climate targets on schedule, national infrastructure needs to install larger items at new heights. We support this trend in three ways: by ensuring we have the right equipment to hand, by applying our learnings so that we can use it new ways, and by prioritising QHSE at every step of every project.

The equipment we use has been carefully designed to reach its full potential with minimal stress, either to its own composition or to the environment. We understand the stresses and strains experienced by our equipment in depth, and our analysis of project records enables us to build efficiencies into our maintenance schedules that never comprise site safety – but do enable us to use our equipment in new ways.

We need to reach higher, for example. Crane booms are getting longer, but the stresses incurred – building them up from ground level to their upright position – needs fine calculation to ensure every component is optimised, and working within safe limits. This includes everything from inspection and replacement of winch ropes, inspection of the lattice sections that constitute each crane’s framework, right through to the physical stresses on pumps and operating fluids.

We’ll be looking forward with interest to the outcomes from this year’s GLAD 2022. Osprey’s lifting teams are always happy to share learnings with clients and colleagues interested in best QHSE practice and innovative applications of insight.

Dean Graham, QHSE Manager; 

“Osprey operates some of the largest cranes in the UK. But size doesn’t dictate risk. We apply the same level of health and safety commitment to our activities whether it’s our LG1550 on full back-mast and tray loading out a transformer, or our LTM1200 moving rebar bundles. To carry out these lifts, whether they are standard repeat lifts or complex lifts, we have a dedicated team of engineers in place to plan our lifts to minimise exposure to our personnel and reduce risks for our clients. When planning these lifts, we work collaboratively, looking at variables that dictate how our site teams should rig the machines and conduct the lifts. These can affect how our teams work and requires us to implement detailed control measures to minimise our risks, especially when working at height which is a regular activity in the world of lifting.

We have a highly competent team of operators. They’re out there, day-in day-out, ensuring our high standards of H&S are maintained on each lift, on each site. By working with our site teams on an almost daily basis I am able to get their feedback, their ideas and their innovations on how we can reduce our exposure and minimise our risks. I am here to support and assist our teams in all they do, I believe this has enabled our goal of continuous improvement in everything we do and continues to grow our positive safety culture here at Osprey.”