HSE: unsafe bolts on BendPak vehicle lift31 August 2023

Health and Safety Executive vehicle lift (image credit: HSE)

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has issued a safety alert due to unsafe bolts on the BendPak XPR series two-post vehicle lift.

BendPak XPR series two-post vehicle lifts have a half-moon-shaped arm restraint gear on each arm, which is either welded or bolted. On some of the lifts with the arm restraint gear attached with bolts, the bolts do not meet the required strength standard increasing the risk of a major incident.

Evidence from an investigation of a fatal incident revealed concerns with an aspect of the manufacture and supply of the BendPak XPR series two-post lifts.

The bolts should be 8.8 class bolts. If the lift’s arm restraint gear is attached using bolts marked ‘4.8’ or unmarked bolts, then there is an increased risk of a major incident, including a vehicle falling from the lift.

BendPak XPR series lifts use a teeth-meshing mechanism to lock the arm gears. Many of these lifts use a bolted connection to attach the arm restraint gear (see diagram).

BendPak requires the use of a minimum class of 8.8 bolts tightened to an appropriate torque for the lift to meet the strength standards for two-post vehicle lifts set out in the British Standard; BS EN 1493. An understrength lift is at risk of not being able to support or withstand the forces it is subjected to, and is at risk of collapse.

Users of BendPak two-post lifts should check the bolts. If the arm restraint gear has a bolted connection check if any 4.8 class, or unmarked, bolts are in use. The class should be clearly stamped on the bolt head. If there is no marking, then you should assume that it is not the correct class bolt. Check that the bolts are tightened. If you have 8.8 class bolts you must ensure that they are tightened to the correct torque of 33 ft/lb (or 45 NM). A previous HSE safety alert covered the need to install a redesigned arm restraint gear. Check that the lift has the newer arm restraint gear type. The newer gear rings sit flush to the pin, have circular rather than slotted or elongated holes, and have the appearance of being machined rather than cast. More information is available from the previous Safety Bulletin (www.is.gd/tucoxa).

Those using the lifts should also contact the lift supplier to get replacement parts. If the lift does not have a minimum class of 8.8 bolts for all arm gear bolted connections (or it does not have the redesigned arm restraint gear) take immediate action to replace them. Do not use the lift until the necessary replacements have been made by a competent person. A manufacturer’s video demonstrating how replacement can be carried out (www.is.gd/otuyuq) is available.

Additionally, users must make sure that the lift undergoes thorough examination (www.is.gd/elutot) as required by the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 (Loler).

A user of two-post vehicle lifts should inspect and maintain them in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions. This includes regular checks (at least monthly, according to the manual) on the tightness of all bolted connections to ensure they are correctly torqued. See the manual for further information on required maintenance checks.

Operations Engineer

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