LOLER stands for Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations, which is the Health & Safety Executive’s (HSE) official regulation for people and companies who own, operate or have control over all types of lifting equipment. In addition to planning and supervision, LOLER requires that all equipment used for lifting is fit for purpose through regular LOLER thorough examinations and inspections

 

What is the purpose of LOLER?

Lifting operations require specialist equipment to ensure that work is undertaken in a safe and efficient manner. LOLER is in place to check that lifting equipment is fit for purpose in order to ensure the safety of its operators. 

LOLER regulations require that all lifting operations must be properly planned by a ‘competent person’, as well as appropriately supervised and carried out in a safe manner. This means that workers must be properly trained to handle lifting equipment, sites should be properly inspected and work must be planned thoroughly by somebody with appropriate experience and knowledge before any work takes place. 

As HSE advises: “If your business or organisation undertakes lifting operations or is involved in providing lifting equipment for others to use, you must manage and control the risks to avoid any injury or damage”. This requires lifting operations to be: 

  • Planned properly
  • Undertaken by people who are sufficiently competent
  • Supervised appropriately
  • Carried out in a safe manner.

Crucially, LOLER also requires lifting equipment to be regularly inspected and suitably marked to indicate that it is “fit for purpose, appropriate for the task, suitably marked and, in many cases, subject to statutory periodic 'thorough examination'”. The HSE also advise that “records must be kept of all thorough examinations, and any defects found must be reported to both the person responsible for the equipment and the relevant enforcing authority”.

 

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Who has obligations under LOLER regulations?

According to HSE’s INDG290 Lifting equipment at work, 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”. 

Persons falling under this description are considered ‘duty holders’ under LOLER and must make sure that when lifting equipment is used, the requirements of LOLER are met. These requirements include: 

LOLER Inspection and thorough examination: According to HSE’s INDG422 Thorough examination of lifting equipment, both inspection and thorough examination are key requirements of LOLER. Duty holders are required to ensure lifting equipment that is “exposed to conditions causing deterioration which could lead to dangerous situations” undergoes regular thorough examination by a competent person”. 

Testing: All lifting equipment and accessories must also be sufficiently strong, stable and suitable for the proposed task, which often requires testing services

Marking: LOLER also requires equipment to be visibly marked with any information that should be taken into account for its safe use. This includes factors such as safe working loads and usage instructions. 

Planning and supervision: Under LOLER, duty holders must ensure that all lifting operations are planned, supervised and carried out safely by people who are deemed competent.

Reporting: It’s also essential to submit reports following a thorough examination or inspection of any lifting equipment to the employer to take any appropriate actions. As the duty holder, you must also ensure that you keep relevant information relating to your lifting equipment, including thorough examination and test reports, LOLER inspection documentation and records of EC Declarations of Conformity.

 

How can you achieve compliance with the LOLER Regulations?

To be compliant with LOLER, you must ensure the various requirements outlined above are met within your business. This means ensuring that all equipment undergoes regular inspection and thorough examination by a competent person. 

Under LOLER, a competent person is defined as having “such appropriate practical and theoretical knowledge and experience of the lifting equipment to be thoroughly examined as will enable them to detect defects or weaknesses and to assess their importance in relation to the safety and continued use of the lifting equipment”.

A competent person is required to undertake a regular ‘thorough examination’ of all lifting equipment:

  • Before it is first used, if not EC Declaration is available
  • Immediately after the repair or replacement of an essential component
  • Whenever it is removed and refitted to the original chassis
  • Within 12 months of its last inspection. 

A duty holder must ensure that all records of thorough examinations (as well as any other inspection or testing services) are readily available to inspectors from the relevant authority at all times. 

It’s important, therefore, to ensure inspection is undertaken regularly and official records are kept. Using an engineering inspection supplier can help you achieve compliance and identify defects in your equipment with minimum disruption to your operations. 

 

For more helpful tips and advice on LOLER, and what to look for in an inspection supplier, download our complete guide – The essential questions to ask your LOLER inspection supplier here >

 

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