Lifting and hoisting
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No definition of work equipment used for lifting and hoisting is given either in section 4 on work equipment used for lifting and hoisting of loads in book IV of the Code on Well-being at Work or in the other parts of the regulations. This means that the notion must be considered very broadly, and that it goes much further than the definition of "lifting equipment" as stated in Article 267.2.1 of the General Labour Protection Rules.
Other than obvious lifting equipment such as cranes, tower cranes and hoists, all work equipment used to hoist or raise loads falls under the instructions of section 4, even for minor heights.
In addition to these specific regulations, the general provisions of section 2 on the provisions applicable to all work equipment, from book IV of the Code, apply, as do the specific provisions of section 3 on mobile work equipment from book IV of the Code, where appropriate.
For these provisions, see the explanation of the following themes:
- General provisions on the use of work equipment;
- Specific provisions on the use of mobile work equipment.
Section 4 of book IV of the Code also includes provisions on the use of work equipment used exceptionally for lifting or hoisting of persons.
The focus here is on the fact that this process is prohibited as a matter of principle and can only be applied in exceptional conditions and if there is an appropriate risk assessment and an application of the relevant regulatory provisions.
One example is the use of concrete vats with a work platform.
In accordance with Article IV.2-14 of the Code, work equipment exposed to conditions that could lead to deterioration (wear and tear) must be periodically inspected by an appropriate person. The employer is generally responsible for determining the frequency and appointing the appropriate person.
For some work equipment, however, the legislation specifies the frequency and the appropriate person. This is the case for lifting equipment, as defined in Article 267 of the General Labour Protection Rules.
For this equipment, a commissioning inspection and periodical (quarterly) inspections must be carried out by an external service for technical inspections in the workplace, in accordance with Articles 280 and 281 of the General Labour Protection Rules.
Specific cases may arise during these inspections, such as:
- the inspection of lifting devices from abroad used by an employer in Belgium (regulated by Article 281quater of the General Labour Protection Rules). For more information on this subject, please consult the explanations on Article 281quater of the
- the periodic inspection of a patient lift;
- Inspection of tower cranes: a note is available on our French and Dutch pages.
Opinions of the Supreme Council for Prevention and Protection at Work are available on our French and Dutch pages.
- Firstly, with the prevention advisor of the internal and/or external service for prevention and protection at work.
- Secondly, with the competent regional directorate for Supervision of Well-being at Work.
- Questions on the interpretation of the legislation: in writing to the Directorate-General for Humanisation of Labour.