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Workshop Safety

This training guide will provide you with valuable information on the following:
How to make an informed purchase
How to correctly position vehicles and operate vehicle lifts
How to comply with the UK’s regulations concerning maintenance and thorough examination of lifts
Available from Oakmain or direct from the Garage Equipment Association at £15.00 inc P&P.

08 December 2009
Recent incidents regarding vehicles falling from 2-post lifts
The Garage Equipment Association (GEA) constantly encourages the safe operation of vehicle lifting equipment. We have become aware of a number of incidents over recent years where vehicles have fallen from 2-post lifts. Some have resulted in vehicle damage, but others have involved serious injury and even death. Investigation of the circumstances has shown a number of different causes. Therefore to help prevent future incidents it’s imperative that GEA members, lift owners and operators observe the following:-


Lift operators must be properly trained and be made aware of all risks. Over recent years motor vehicles have grown larger, particularly 4-wheel drive variants and correct positioning of the vehicle on the lift is essential. Always follow the vehicle manufacturer’s guidelines and if lifting on the vehicle body or chassis (wheel free) always use the vehicle manufacturer’s recommended lifting points. Where a limited number of models are lifted, it may assist operators if positioning marks (eg for parking the vehicle) are made on the floor. Lifting pads must be positioned carefully and adjusted for height if necessary. Simply kicking them into place and hoping for the best is reckless.
It is important that the load is evenly distributed across all of the lifting points. Normally this will be achieved by using the vehicle manufacturer’s recommended lifting points and this should be sufficient for general servicing work and inspection. However, the centre of gravity can alter significantly if heavy components (gear box, engine etc) are removed. Such work should preferably be carried out using a 4-post lift, but if a 2-post lift has to be used, it would be sensible to use supplementary vehicle stands to support the raised vehicle.
2-post vehicle lifts are equipped with arm locking devices; it’s essential that these devices are engaged when the vehicle is raised. Therefore operators should always check that the arm locks are maintained properly, show no signs of damage or deterioration to their locking teeth and become engaged properly during use. Check that the restraint gears are fully engaged – If the gears have not fully engaged, lower the vehicle and gently move the arms forward and back until the gears fully lock into place. Never be tempted to deactivate safety devices – they are there for good reason.
Important Safety Notice – Vehicle Lifts 2 of 2
Lifting pads must be in good condition, appropriate for the vehicle being lifted, and kept clean from oil and grease. A damaged or contaminated pad may allow the arm to move under pressure, thus allowing the vehicle being lifted to fall off the lift.
May we also remind owners of their maintenance and inspection responsibility under the PUWER and LOLER Regulations – Vehicle lifts should be regularly serviced (maintained) by a competent engineer and undergo a thorough examination by a competent person every 6-months. Thorough examination is in addition to, not a substitute for, regular inspection and on-going maintenance.
Please take time to check all is in order with your lift and ensure that operators have received training. For further advice or a list of GEA accredited lift engineers please visit the GEA website: