25 Feb 2024

The safe operation of vehicle lifts

When buying a vehicle lift, you need to know that the equipment meets all legal requirements, and that the company selling it to you is meeting all their obligations.
Lifts used for MOT work must meet DVSA’s minimum size requirements for the class of vehicles to be tested. For advice on this, please ask a GEA member. A full list of members who supply MOT equipment can be found on the GEA website.
Meanwhile, all machinery sold within the European Community must also meet Directive 2006/42/EC, otherwise known as the Machinery Directive. Most products and some lifting equipment, such as engine hoists and jacks can be certified that they meet the directive by the equipment’s manufacturer, agent or supplier. However, Annex 4 of the Directive requires that vehicle lifts used for the servicing of vehicles must have an EC-type examination by a Notified Body.
The Notified Body will check that the vehicle lift either satisfies the Essential Health and Safety Requirements (EHSRs) of the Directive or that the lift manufacturer has followed the requirements of BS EN1493 in its entirety. On completion of the conformity assessment process, the manufacturer, agent or supplier should prepare a Declaration of Conformity and apply a CE mark to the equipment. The Declaration should include details of the Notified Body (four-digit identification number) who has undertaken the EC type-examination and the assessment method, either EN1493 or the EHSRs.
A piece of advice: Always ask to see proof that the lift you are thinking of purchasing has been CE marked (post-Brexit UKCA marked) and is certified by one of the Notified Bodies. Doing so will ensure that the testing mark/certificate is genuine and that the lift has been manufactured to European standards. All certificates will contain both the name and number of the Notified Body and a certification number. Please note that all Notified Bodies must be based in Europe. A word of warning; Just because a lift carries the CE sticker, never assume it has been tested and certified. It is easy for a manufacturer/ importer to simply add a sticker to a product. To avoid problems, always opt for a GEA member supplier.

When it comes to vehicle lifts, the installation work is as important as the manufacturing process. However, this work is often conducted by an installation and maintenance company and may be out of the direct control of the lift manufacturer. All lifts, apart from mobile lifts, rely on correct foundations and installation. Therefore, the British Standards Institute (BSI) has produced a standard for vehicle lift installation known as BS 7980.2003+A1:2012, which has become the lift engineer’s bible.
Another piece of advice: Always have your lift installed by a GEA-accredited lift engineer who understands all the regulations and standards and follows the correct guidance and procedures provided by the lift manufacturer.
Note: After a vehicle lift has been installed into a workshop it must be independently inspected and certified by a competent person to meet the HSE Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulation (LOLER). This is a requirement of the owner-operator, not the installer, as installers cannot check/certify their own installation work.
For more information visit: www.gea.co.uk