Recommended practice on the use of chain lever hoists in the offshore subsea environment


Version history

May 2024, Rev. 3.1 – Page 2 updated, glossary added; no change to content

June 2023, Rev. 3 – Document restructured and now includes a policy for single and multi-immersion. Added chain lever hoist criteria specifically designed for multiple immersion.

June 2017, Rev. 2 – Minor editorial changes throughout. Changes to Sections 4.1, 4.6, 7.3 Length of time the lever hoist is in service should be limited, and Section 7.4.

February 2008, Rev. 1 – To reflect on experience gained by the industry in using the guidance and to incorporate lessons learnt during investigations into lever hoist incidents over the past five years. In particular, it contains a new Section 7 on the use of chain lever hoists underwater.

June 2002 – Initial publication



In the late 1990s, following concern being expressed regarding their safe operation, IMCA set up a workgroup to consider the development of guidance on the use of chain lever hoists.

This group commenced its work by consulting with IMCA members, clients and the major equipment test houses.

Revision 3 retained single immersion as the default position but also recognised that some manufacturers have developed chain lever hoists that are deemed suitable for multiple immersions in offshore subsea applications.

Consequently, a multi-immersion policy is now included. However, it remains the responsibility of the end user to satisfy themselves that the claims made by the manufacturer are substantiated via thorough testing and material selection.


  • Introduction
  • Background
  • General Principles for Lifting Equipment
  • Selection of Equipment
  • Immersion Policy
  • Information and Data Requirements
  • Transportation, Storage and Control
  • Use of Chain Lever Hoists Underwater
  • Equipment User Competence
Reference(s): IMCA LR005, IMCA D028
Published:May 2024
Version:Rev. 3.1
Grade:IMCA Recommended Practice

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