Northern Marine Services (Scotland) Ltd Marine Lifting and Inspection


Contract Lift, Crane Hire, Equipment and Personnel.

If you are unfamiliar with lifting, hiring cranes and some of the terms used we have put together this short guide to explain some of the legal background around lifting with an explanation of the terms used and how cranes are hired.

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Legal Background

The UK has a variety of Acts and Regulations designed to protect people at work.  The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 is the main piece of legislation and for lifting and under this Act sits the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations (1998) otherwise known as LOLER.

LOLER gives an overview of what is required by law but the real detail is given within the British and European Standards and for cranes and lifting this is to be found in BS 7121 – Code of Practice for the Safe Use of Cranes.

Terms used in BS 7121

Below are some of the terms used in the standards and an explanation of what they mean.

Lift Plan –  All lifts must be properly planned.  The outcome of this planning will be a lift plan.  At NMS our lift plans are one document and include the details of the lift and equipment to be used, risk assessment, method statement and emergency response along with supporting documents such as drawings, photographs etc.  Lift plans can only be approved by an Appointed Person.

Appointed Person – This is the person who plans the lift, writes the lift plan and will have overall control of the lifting operations.

Crane Supervisor – This is the person who controls the lifting operation and is responsible for ensuring that it is carried out in accordance with the Appointed Person’s lift plan.

Crane Operator – This is the person trained to operate the crane.

Slinger – The slinger is responsible for attaching and detaching the load and for using the correct lifting accessories as identified in the lift plan.

Signaller – The signaller is responsible for giving signals to the crane operator to allow for the safe lift and lowering of the load.

Classes of lifts

How complex a lift is depends on the hazards near the lift, the load itself and the environment in which the lifting operation is carried out.  The lift will be assessed and classified by the Appointed Person.  There are 3 classifications which are:-

Basic Lift – The weight of the load is easily established and there are no significant hazards within the working area of the crane or on the access route for the crane.

Intermediate Lift – This is one where there are significant hazards, either within the working area of the crane or on the access route for the crane.

Complex – This is where the crane is used to lift complex loads or persons, where two or more cranes are used to lift the load or where the lifting operation is carried out at a location with exceptional hazards (such as near water, chemical plants or nuclear power station etc)

Difference between Crane Hire and Contract Lift

BS 7121 sets out 2 ways that you can get a crane to do your lifting.  These are Crane Hire or Contract Lift and the difference in them is explained below.

Crane Hire

This is where you, as the client, hire our crane and our crane operator only.  They work to your instructions and you will have to:-

Unless you already employ an Appointed Person, Crane Superviser and Slinger/Signaller this method will not be suitable for you and you should instead look at a contract lift.

Contract Lift

In a contract lift you tell us what needs lifted, where it is and when you need it lifted and we will include:-

Get more information about our lifting services

If you wish to discuss your requirements or would like more information please contact the team on 01955605440,  email or use the contact us section on this website.

Our Lifting Services

Trailer Crane

Our Böcker AHK 36 is the first of its type in the UK.  Using cutting edge aluminium boom technologies, our Böcker can be utilised as a crane or as a powered access platform.  With a gross weight of 3.5t and a maximum capacity of 2.4t and variable jacking this trailer crane is ideal for hard to reach places, where you need low ground loading or where a conventional crane set up is challenging/costly.  Due to its dual use as a powered access platform our trailer is the ideal solution for suspended man basket works.  From one platform we are able to comply with man riding regulations as the machine has full redundancy on board, which can save clients time and money.

As a powered access we can provide a 250kg platform to 26m platform height which is an ideal choice for towers and masts.  With a gross weight of 3.5t and variable jacking this is an ideal solution for remote areas where the ground area is restricted, access roads are weight limited or where a quick response is required.

Our AHK36 is available on crane hire or contract lift basis and is supported with our trained and experienced team and our large selection of rigging and lifting equipment.

Download Specification

16ft Trailer-mounted HIAB


Our trailer mounted Bonfiglioli P3500 L3 is the ideal choice for light weight lifting and shifting requirements.

Our trailer has a clear deck of 14ft x 6ft with a capacity of 1.8t allowing a large range of cargoes to be carried.

The crane is forward mounted and capable of 990kg at 3.5m and 250kg at 9.25m with the manual extension.

This versatile combination is coupled to a 4×4 pick up or dropside van, making an ideal solution for a range of tasks.

Lift Planning and Supervision

Our Appointed Persons (APs), Crane Supervisers and Slinger/Signallers are CPCS qualified and we have supported projects throughout Europe.  Our lifting personnel are available to undertake lift planning on your behalf and are available at anytime to discuss your requirements.  Our range of lifting equipment in our warehouse can be used to further support your requirements.

Jacking and Skidding

Along with our Crane and HIAB we are able to offer jacking and skidding of a range of equipment.

We have a range of jacks and skates in stock and have installed a variety of equipment up to 5t with our own equipment and up to 300t utilising hired in equipment.

"I’ve worked with NMS for a fair few years now, and I cannot speak highly enough of the team. They are friendly, helpful and professional at all times, with no job being too big or too small. I get a lot of weird and wonderful requests in the shipping world, and NMS’s experience and extensive background in the industry has helped me on countless occasions."

James McKenzie - Ships Agency Team Leader from GAC Services (UK) Ltd (21/01/2021)

"In a business where we are literally asked for anything and everything you can think of no matter how obscure, We make Alasdair and the team at NMS one of first port of calls. This is down to their tenacity to get what we require when we require. “Team NMS” aren’t just a trusted supplier, they’re an extra member of our team and more importantly looked upon as friends. "

Barry Mitchell - Managing Director at 3Point Procurement Limited (27/01/2021)

"NMS’ highly professional and thorough monitoring of operations, expert advice on lifting practices and timely reporting were an invaluable addition to MOWEL’s efforts as responsible client to ensure that the principal contractor and its subcontractor’s activities were conducted safely and in full compliance with UK health and safety legislation and good industry practice. I recommend NMS for any such surveillance of heavy lifting and marine activities and thank the team for their continued contribution towards the safe construction on the Moray East windfarm."

Martin Shaw - T&I Manager at Moray East (24/03/2021)

"A very professional and competent business that's prepared to flex with the changes to programme and requirement. With a wide range of Plant and experience they are extremely adaptable to support high Risk Projects. I Highly recommend Northern Marine Services."

Lee Clinton - Senior Operations Manager at Telent (26/04/2021)

"Build and deployment of the BlueX prototype Wave Energy Converter was Mocean Energy’s first major project, so having Northern Marine Services on board to advise on lifting and marine operations provided great comfort to the team. NMS led lift plan reviews, provided significant input to Procedures and HIRAs and attended lift days as “client rep”. NMS’s input over the lifecycle of the project has also helped Mocean build its knowledge base, which will be valuable on future projects. We look forward to working with NMS again."

Jon Clarke - Project Manager at Mocean. (20/05/2021)

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31 Telford St

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