Hot Tub Lifting Guidance

Following a number of high-profile incidents involving the lifting and placing of hot tubs to mainly domestic customers, CPA were approached by the British and Irish Spa and Hot Tub Association (BISHTA) and the Swimming Pool and Allied Trades Association (SPATA) to co-develop guidance for the safe lifting of hot tubs, exercise spas (sometimes referred to as swim spas) and one-piece pools.

The need for guidance follows an incident in North Wales where a hot tub was being lifting over a house and became detached from the lifting accessories when a tag line became snared on part of the house it was being lifted over. Although there were no injuries, lifting incidents involving hot tubs are not uncommon and are centred around either a falling load or an overturn of the crane. Other incidents involving hot tub lifting include the overturning of a crane which not only damaged neighbouring properties, but also ruptured a gas-supply line and caused closure of a nearby tram network whilst recovery of the crane took place.

As a number of incidents involved the use of a lorry loader, the Association of Lorry Loader and Manufacturer’s (ALLMI) also participated in the project and the three associations have now developed safe lifting guidance for these load types in the form of a Crane Interest Group (CIG) Technical Information Notice (TIN).

Although the principles and requirements of safe lift planning are well understood and implemented by crane owners, but the specific factors relating to hot tubs may be less well known. For example, the pipework for new hot tubs are pressure tested during manufacturer and although drained afterwards for shipment, trapped residual water sometimes remains in the pipework which adds to the weight to be lifted.

Furthermore, the weight of any covers can often add to the overall lift weight, not always identified on manufacturer’s data, and covers on some big swim spas can add a significant weight for which these and other accessories such as steps etc. should be lifted separately. A large percentage of hot tubs are delivered to domestic customers who would not have the requisite knowledge to plan or control the lift and therefore the TIN makes clear on the responsibilities of crane hire and contract lifting, with the advice that domestic customers should not be offered a crane hire agreement. To this end, CPA are developing a set of Contract Lift Conditions for Consumers which will be available for use by CPA Members.

CIG TIN 019 can be downloaded free of charge below

A recording of the recent joint presentation event on the guidance can be viewed at: here