Load Testing, Heavy Lifting, and Certification FAQs

Load Testing, Heavy Lifting, and Certification FAQs

Published 14 January 2020
Published 14 January 2020

Regulations and Standards

– What is the difference between a regulation and a standard?

The difference between a standard and a regulation lies in compliance. While conformity with standards is voluntary, regulations are mandatory.

– Why do I need to be certified?

All industries share the responsibility to minimise risk and preserve life, the yachting industry is no different. Although it is only mandatory for commercial vessels, it has become standard practice for privately owned vessels too as the moral obligation to look after the boats crew still remains. In the highly unlikely event of an accident, having LEEA approved certification demonstrates you have done what is reasonably practical to ensure that globally recognised health and safety standards were upheld.

– My equipment was not installed / manufactured to a standard, can you certify it to EU standards?

If we are not the original manufacturer, we are not able to take on the responsibility of the manufacturer by creating a declaration of conformity. We can provide tests, products and certification with CE marks if the item in question was manufactured to conform to those standards and regulations.

– How often do I need to get re-certified?

The Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations (LOLER), regulation 9 states that all lifting equipment is to be examined at the following time intervals:

•Lifting Equipment – Every 12 months

•Lifting Accessories – Every 6 months

•Person lifting Equipment – Every 6 months

– How do I know what needs certifying? What is the difference between lifting equipment, lifting accessories and person lifting equipment?

The items that need to be tested can be split into three categories;

•Lifting Equipment – A generic term used to cover all lifting accessories and appliances. A more specific meaning covering lifting appliances, their anchorages and fixings.

•Lifting Accessories – Any device such as single leg or multi-leg slings, eyebolt, spreader beam etc. used to connect the load to a lifting appliance, but which is not itself part of the load or the appliance. Anything between the load being lifted and the crane hook or suspension point.

•Person Lifting – Any device which is used for the lifting or suspension of people when working at height (2+ meters above the ground) such as Access Rail Systems, pad eyes, harnesses, rescue tender cranes.

– How does my flag state and EU regs differ?

The vessels flag state or class association may stipulate requirements, specifications or procedures that need to be conducted. Ensure to let us know this information upon contact.

– Do I need original documentation /certificates for my items?

In order to comply with regulations, previous documentation is essential for a CE marked certificate. If there are no documents showing the articles traceability, a load test can still be performed according to the European machine directive, but a standard, non-EU marked certificate will be produced.


– What weight does it need testing to?

This depends on what class or standard your vessel works to; we can arrange tests to meet those requirements.

If there are no stipulations and you want to comply with EU regulations we work to the requirements of the Machinery Directive. The supply of machinery (safety) Regulations state that lifting equipment must be designed and built to sustain a static overload of:

•Manually operated machines: 1.5 x WLL

•Other Machines: 1.25 x WLL

•Lifting accessories: 1.5 x WLL

•Machinery must be capable of sustaining a dynamic overload of: 1.1 x WLL

Access Rail Systems and pad eyes designed for the suspension of humans are proof load tested upon installation at 1200kg and then tested to a load of 600kg every 12 months thereafter. This can be done using a water weight bag or hydrajaws. This depends if the rail has been installed horizontally or vertically respectively.

– Which class association are you certified by?

RSB is approved by The Lifting Equipment Engineers Association (LEEA) which is the leading global trade association for all those involved in the lifting industry. We are able to run load tests and certify in accordance with the requirements of most class associations. We are not approved by one association, but we do regularly perform tests and manufacture products witnessed by various class association surveyors.

– I am out of the water; how will that affect tests procedures?

If your vessel is out of the water, there may be some rules imposed by the shipyard such as; no work to be conducted outboard using Access Rail Systems or pad eyes where a technician would be suspended above the ground. The use of water weight bags may be prohibited however using Hydrajaws, a cumulative weight system or applying load from a strong fixed point could be used instead. If there is a need to work at height, cherry pickers or scaffolding may be required.

– What happens if the item fails the test?

If an item failing a load test or thorough examination it will be clearly marked then quarantined so it cannot be used. The master or responsible person will be informed and a certificate of condemnation/defect report will be produced. We can arrange disposal and replacement of the defective equipment. A risk assessment for all works will be carried out before commencement of works and will be adapted where necessary if there is a change in the working environment.

– My vessel has composite superstructure (GRP, EGlass Carbon fibre etc..) are you able to install an Access Rail System / pad eyes / strong points for person lifting?

These will need to be assessed on a case by case basis. Reinforcing the superstructure will be essential and will require specialist engineering.

– What conditions complicate tests?

•Poor weather conditions can affect the safety and scheduling of a job; rain and winds may make it unsafe to complete projects.

•Obstruction of access due to areas onboard, other contractors working, lack of cherry pickers or scaffolding.

•Insufficient instructions and documentation.

•Results from the risk assessment.


– What is the maximum tonnage you can test to?

Currently, the maximum tonnage for a single load test is 10 tonnes. For a load test requiring more weight we can deploy two bags with a maximum of 6.5 tonnes each. This operation is subject to having enough height/space to conduct the test.

– What locations can you provide your services?

We are based in Palma de Mallorca, Spain but are able to conduct testing and inspections throughout mainland Spain and Europe. The additional costs incurred from logistics and expenses will be given as an estimate as part of the job quote and will be amended based upon the prices of shipping, travel and accommodation costs at the time.

– What are the turnaround times for products?

If the hardware or components are available in our stock the work will usually be completed within 1-2 days. (Please be aware that this is subject to change based on work load at the time)

Large Access Rail Systems or specialist components will have longer turnaround times as these are generally not kept in stock.

– What brands of access rail system / overboard access tracks can you provide?

We usually work with Harken, Lewmar and Ronstan Access rail systems.

– How can I minimise costs?

There are a few methods you can adopt which can reduce costs of work:

•Scheduling all tests certificates to 6 month and 12 month intervals, instead of having various items scattered throughout the year/season

•Collate all original detailed documents and certificates showing precise measurements

•Ensure the conditionals for tests are met; water source with 100 litres per minute, clear access to test area, sea water flow MIN 100 L/min, 220V electrical supply

•Assisting crew members

•Existing documentation for items to be tested Approved belaying points

•A cherry picker may be needed depending on accessibility and conditions

– How long will it take to receive test certificates?

Test certificates will be issued when full payment has been received for the work.

– How are the certificates presented?

Certificates can be presented paperless as digital PDF via email and/or USB or printed and laminated in a presentation file.


– What is the subscription service you offer?

This is for vessels with a reliable travel itinerary and a planned maintenance schedule allowing us to schedule 6 monthly and 12 monthly tests, examinations and certificates well in advance. You get the peace-of-mind from knowing our availability is guaranteed during busy periods of the year. We offer a 10% discount for vessels that join this program.

– How can I sign up to the subscription service?

During the vessels first period of work with us, we will discuss the scope of work required and the ideal time period to schedule the tests. Completing regular inspections and becoming familiar with the vessel enables us to both reduce the time required and stream line the costs.

Sign up to the RSB Rigging Solutions newsletter for
all the latest updates and articles