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Are the Technicians Inspecting your Gear Qualified?

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LEEA – Lifting Standards Worldwide™

Hercules Inspectors are LEEA trained nationally. LEEA, the Lifting Equipment Engineers Association is the respected and authoritative representative body for those who work in every aspect of the industry, from design, manufacture, refurbishment and repair, through to the hire, maintenance and use of lifting equipment.

The next time your equipment is due for inspection, make sure Hercules SLR is your first choice for expert advice and service.


Established across the globe LEEA has over 1170 member companies based in 69 countries. Hercules SLR is proud to be one of them.

LEEA has played a key role in this specialized field for over seventy years, from training and standards setting through to health and safety, the provision of technical and legal advice, and the development of examination and licensing systems.

LEEA represents all its members at the highest levels across a range of both public and private bodies, including various government departments, as well as nationally and internationally recognized professional and technical institutions.

LEEA are ISO 9001:2015 registered and an Associate Member of DROPS (Dropped Objects Prevention Scheme).

LEEA is actively involved in all aspects of the industry, promoting the highest technical and safety standards and offering a wide range of services and support to their Members worldwide.

History of the Association

The origins of the Lifting Equipment Engineers Association (LEEA) can be traced back to wartime Britain in 1943; a small group of competing companies came together to address what they perceived as a serious threat to their livelihoods. On 3rd June, nine people representing eight chain testing houses met at the Great Eastern Hotel, near Liverpool Street Station, and the idea to form an association to take on the might of government was conceived. Several weeks later, a draft set of rules and regulations was drawn up. During that process, a decision was made that, regardless of size, all members should be considered equal, both in terms of influence and financial contribution and the annual subscription was set at £4 and 4 shillings (£4.20).
The London Chain Testers Association was the name chosen by the founding members and was a clear reflection of the nature and location of the businesses involved. However, evidence shows that as this small group quickly made headway in negotiations with the government, attention turned to other areas where it was felt that co-operative action could be of mutual benefit. These included exploring the potential for pricing agreements, block insurance, the use of collective purchasing to secure more favourable deals from manufacturers, and adherence to British Standards to improve quality and consistency within the industry.By 1946, the association’s geographical boundaries expanded. Members were now actively sought from across the country, a move highlighted by a change of name to The Chain Testers Association of Great Britain.With the immediate concerns of a wartime economy behind them, the following decades of the 20th century can be seen as a series of landmarks that would ultimately establish the association as an authority on safe lifting and the industry’s foremost provider of training and qualifications for the test, examination and maintenance of overhead lifting equipment. Milestones in this period included:

  • The publication of the Chain Testers’ Handbook in 1953. Predominantly the work of Mr. C H A McCaully of W&E Moore, this brought together for the first time all the essential information required by the ‘man at the bench’ – the chain tester.
  • In 1959 it was followed by the examination scheme for lifting equipment engineers. In 1981, the Code of Practice for the Safe Use of Lifting Equipment (COPSULE) was launched.
  • In 1983, training courses were introduced to prepare students for exams that are now sat by several hundred candidates around the world every year.

Towards the end of the 20th century, important developments took place within the association’s infrastructure, and the nature of member companies changed to include a far wider range of activities. Notable events include the set-up of the organisation’s first independent office in 1977, and a third name change—to the Lifting Equipment Engineers Association in 1988.

With the introduction of the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations (LOLER) in 1998, LEEA’s training, qualifications and publications had to be fundamentally reworked to reflect this new legislation, and the association’s support and guidance became even more important to members obliged to comply with the requirements of the new legislation.

This legislative upheaval combined with the all-pervasive impact of globalisation, and an absence of sector-specific health and safety legislation—so, many companies who operated in these parts of the world began to adopt LOLER as best practice, which further enhanced the appeal of LEEA membership.

Since the turn of the century, LEEA’s development has reflected these trends and milestones have included:


  • In 2006, The launch of the LiftEx trade show;
  • In 2007, the move to new headquarters and a purpose-built training centre, an ever increasing portfolio of practical courses to complement online distance learning provision;
  • In 2009, the introduction of the TEAM card registration and identity scheme for qualified engineers and technicians.

Perhaps the most striking is LEEA’s transformation into a truly international body. Regardless of where they are based, there is now no distinction between members – all are subject to the same technical audits prior to being granted full membership, with regular follow-up visits as long as they wish to remain part of the association. Dedicated local groups are now operating in the Middle East and Australia, and LEEA staff have become globetrotters, regularly meeting existing and potential members, as well as a host of other stakeholders, right across the world.

Learn more about LEEA on their website here.