As you’re reading this, there’s a good chance I’ll be in Chicago, at this year’s Promat show. It’s a good size of show, with plenty to see, but not overwhelmingly large. My colleagues on Cranes Today, who will be at Bauma in Germany during the same week that Promat takes place, will instead be the ones getting through shoe leather and racking up new high scores on their ‘step count’ phone apps. I’ve attended Bauma in the past and whilst it’s incredibly impressive, it’s quite a challenge to tackle it, as a visitor, without the aid of a Segway.

As well as the numerous companies in our industry who will, no doubt, be showcasing new technologies and offering insight into the North American market, Promat also offers an overhead crane safety conference, organised by the Crane Manufacturers Association of America (CMAA) and the Material Handling Industry (MHI).

The conference will be focusing on topics such as safe operation practices, inspection and maintenance techniques, and new design features, specifically for the overhead lifting sector.

I understand that attending the conference is worth a number of Professional Development Hour credits, although I wouldn’t recommend that anyone employs me to assess the safety of their lifting operation. I will, however, be doing my best to relay the salient points made during the presentations to readers of Hoist in a forthcoming issue.

Talking of visits I’ve made for Hoist, I attended the IMCA Lifting & Rigging Seminar in the Netherlands last autumn, and some of the topics covered by the presentations at that event are mentioned in a feature in this issue, on the subsea lifting sector.

Some of the technological challenges involved in the sector are fairly staggering, with a combination of operating underwater, aggressive atmospheric conditions such as saline spray, low temperatures and wind, and of course often a remote location with little access to spare parts, trained service people, and so forth.

I hope you’ll enjoy reading about the latest news and technology from that area of lifting, and I also hope you’ll find another piece in this month’s issue particularly informative. I’m very pleased that we have been able to include a comment piece from Denis Hogan, who is the performance and special projects manager at the Lifting Equipment Engineers Association, or LEEA as you probably better know them.

Denis has given us a lowdown on the documentation that manufacturers and suppliers are required to provide to customers, to ensure full legal compliance. It’s a comprehensive guide and is, I hope, the first in a number of similar ‘comment’ pieces from members of the industry. If you’ve got a topic you’d like to discuss, just let me know.