Guidance on the Thorough Examination of Electrically Operated Vacuum Lifting Devices


Issued by the Safety Assessment Federation, this document sets out advice about the examination of electrically operated vacuum lifting devices. Electrically operated vacuum lifting devices are present in the form of either single vacuum pads or grouped configurations suspended from chains, wires or otherwise attached to lifting equipment. They can be used for lifting and transporting most ferrous and non-ferrous metalstock or manufactured components. They are widely used in many industrial sectors including aircraft, shipbuilding, rolling mills, glazing, plastics, building and general engineering.


Vacuum pads can be round, rectangular or of a specific form constructed for a particular purpose. For larger component forms, the pads could be mounted on single, twin and cross beam structures. A number of different types of vacuum are available. As follows:

  • Self-priming vacuum lifting device: equipment, which includes one or more suction pad(s) which utilises the load to create the vacuum.

  • Non-self-priming vacuum lifting device: equipment, which includes one or more suction pad(s) and which utilises an external source of energy to create the vacuum.

The guidance covers the legal requirements in this area – as set out by the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations (LOLER) and the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations (PUWER) and gives guidance on the examination process itself.


It is available here.


The Safety Assessment Federation Ltd November 2021



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