Maintenance of suspended assets, such as lighting and signage, can present a significant health and safety risk.

As one of the biggest causes of fatalities and serious injury in the workplace, working at height regulations are part of UK legislation to prevent accidents. Employers and those in control of working at height activities are subject to work at height regulations.

Precautions required to prevent falls from height can be costly and disruptive to operations. Where a ladder is not appropriate, scaffold towers, scissor lifts, and warehouse cherry pickers, are commonly used to safely perform cleaning and maintenance at height. Lighting for instance, is essential to every business and is one of the most frequently accessed suspended assets, using powered access equipment.

Working at Height Regulations – Penny Engineering Ltd

Avoid Working at Height

The Health and Safety Executive’s guide to working at height initially advises readers to, “avoid work at height where it is reasonably practicable to do so.” For some maintenance engineers, that is not feasible. However, there is a solution to simply bring assets to you, at ground level, for cleaning and maintenance.

Enter the electric lifting winch. Designed to lower assets to maintenance height and raise back to operating height. Most commonly used for lighting and chandeliers, an electric lifting winch can also be used to access:

  • Artwork
  • Ceiling fans
  • Speakers
  • Banners
  • CCTV
  • Sensor units
  • High mast fixtures.
How to Simplify Maintenance with an Electric Lifting Winch – Penny Engineering Ltd

Far-Reaching Benefits

Whichever object an electric lifting winch is installed to raise and lower, the benefits are far-reaching. For example, a lighting winch removes the need to work at height – as the HSE would advise. The need to invest in and maintain working at height training and access equipment are entirely circumvented with the installation of an electric winch for lifting activities.

The need to halt operations for a scaffold tower to be constructed for instance, can negatively affect output and ultimately, customer satisfaction. Operational downtime is greatly reduced with the use of a winch system. A single engineer can quickly and easily use an electric lifting winch to lower a suspended asset, like a chandelier, without the need for working at height equipment.

Once an asset is raised and in place, the electric lifting winch can be completely hidden, with no mechanisms visible. This is particularly beneficial for suspended artworks and chandeliers which are often installed within an environment where aesthetics are of paramount importance.

Lighting Winch Systems

While electric lifting winches are used in a variety of applications, the most common is lighting maintenance. Warehouses, retail units, and manufacturing plants in particular, are responsible for the maintenance of hundreds, if not thousands of lighting fixtures.

High bay winch systems are now widely used for lighting maintenance in buildings with a high ceiling and roof such as schools, sports halls, factories, hangars, and airports. Ceiling-mounted and radio remote-controlled lighting winches reduce maintenance times, almost completely eradicating maintenance downtime. Lighting maintenance, which once would have taken at least half an hour per fixture to complete, can be completed in a matter of minutes with the use of an electric lifting winch.

High mast lighting winch systems are primarily used in an outdoor setting in high traffic areas such as airports, sports pitches, car parks, and freight terminals. Comprising a light pole to which several lighting fixtures are fitted, a lowering system is essential to fast and safe maintenance of high mast lighting. Where once a hydraulic lifting platform or high rope access engineers were essential to the maintenance of high mast lighting, a simple yet highly effective lighting winch provides fast and safe access.

For facilities and maintenance managers deciding which lighting winch system to buy, there are several essential requirements to consider:

  • Minimum and maximum lowering distance
  • Maximum lifting capacity
  • Lighting power requirements
  • Ingress protection rating in dusty and moisture-rich environments
  • Mechanical or electrical operation
  • Automatic isolation of electrical feed for overload protection
  • Supply-only or installation service
  • Equipment is tested and certificated to LOLER regulations

Lifting Winch Installation and Servicing

Businesses with an in-house team of engineers may prefer to install an electric lifting winch themselves. Businesses without in-house engineering capabilities will need the support of their supplier to install new equipment. Depending on your capabilities, look for a supply-only lifting winch or a supplier able to complete the installation for you.

For any business requiring project support, installation, or a complex project with the potential need for a custom solution, look for lifting equipment suppliers with in-house mechanical design engineers. With this level of support, a project is more likely to be right first time, delivering a fit-for-purpose lifting solution with a short lead time.

While an electric lifting winch will enable a business to ‘do away’ with working at height equipment and training, your installer will need to be work at height certified. The initial installation will require the use of specialist equipment and training to safely complete the installation of a lifting winch, high bay, or high mast lighting systems.

Lighting Winch Systems Videos – Penny Engineering Ltd

Stay on the Right Side of the Law

Electric lifting winch systems are subject to lifting legislation. Equipment must be inspected and maintained in accordance with Lifting Operation and Lifting Equipment Regulations – LOLER – and Provision and use of Work Equipment Regulations – PUWER. The majority of businesses using lifting equipment will not have engineers qualified to inspect, test and service lifting equipment, in-house. Therefore, it makes sense to find a supplier with service and field engineers to keep your lifting equipment fully compliant and fully operational.

How to Simplify Maintenance with an Electric Lifting Winch – Penny Engineering Ltd

A Supplier You Can Rely On

Penny Engineering are a UK-based designer and manufacturer of electric lifting winch systems with the full range of nationwide services to support a comprehensive range of lifting equipment:

  • Off-the-shelf and bespoke winches
  • LOLER tested and certified products
  • Design and installation
  • Service and maintenance
  • User training

Get in contact with Penny Engineering to explore how an electric lifting winch can transform health and safety and productivity for your business. 

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