Lifting Guide & LOLER Legislation
What is LOLER?
In the main, LOLER replaced existing legal requirements relating to the use of lifting equipment, for example the Construction (Lifting Operations) Regulations 1961, the Docks Regulations 1988 and the Lifting Plant and Equipment (Records of Test and Examination, etc) Regulations 1992. Many aspects of LOLER should therefore be familiar to you.
The Regulations aim to reduce risks to people's health and safety equipment provided for use at work. In addition to the requirements of LOLER, lifting equipment is also subject to the requirements of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER).
What does LOLER require?
Generally the Regulations require that lifting equipment provided for use at work is:
- Strong and stable enough for the particular use and marked to indicate safe working loads.
- Positioned and installed to minimize any risks.
- Used safely, i.e. the work is planned, organized and performed by competent people; subject to ongoing thorough examination and, where appropriate, inspection by competent people.
What Equipment is covered by the Regulations?
Lifting equipment includes any equipment used at work for lifting or lowering loads, including attachments used for anchoring, fixing or supporting it. The Regulations cover a wide range of equipment including cranes, fork-lift trucks, lifts, hoists, mobile elevating work platforms, and vehicle inspection platform hoists. The definition also includes lifting accessories such as chains, slings, eyebolts, etc. LOLER, does not apply to escalators, these are covered by more specific legislation, i.e. the work place (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992.
If you allow employees to provide their own lifting equipment, then this too is covered by the regulations.
Do the Regulations apply to me?
If you are an employer or self-employed person providing lifting equipment for use at work, or you have control of the use of lifting equipment, then the Regulations will apply to you. They do not apply if you provide equipment to be used primarily by members of the public, for example lifts in a shopping centre. However, such circumstances are covered by the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 (HSW Act).
While your employees do not have duties under LOLER, they do have general duties under the HSW Act and the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1992 (MHSWR), for example to to take reasonable care of themselves and others who may be affected by their actions and to co-operate with others.
The Regulations cover places where the HSW Act applies - these include factories, offshore installations, agricultural premises, offices, shops, hospitals, hotels, places of entertainments etc.