Lifting operations have always put people at risk of injury. With this in mind, LOLER 98 (The Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 ) put in place duties on people and companies who own, operate or have control over lifting equipment with the aim of reducing this risk.
Most lifting equipment is also be covered by the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations (PUWER), you also have the health and safety at work act 1974. For the purpose of this article however, lets stick with the LOLER regs.
So, What is LOLER?
LOLER state that all lifting operations involving lifting equipment must be properly planned by a competent person, appropriately supervised and carried out in a safe manner. It also requires that all equipment used for lifting is fit for purpose, appropriate for the task and suitably marked, with suitable maintenance recorded and defects reported, you should also ensure that periodic thorough examinations are carried out.
What does LOLER 98 apply to?
Any lifting equipment including any attachment used for supporting or fixing it. LOLER regulations apply to a robust range of equipment which includes Cranes, fork lifts, scissor lifts, drive trolleys, Pallet trucks and mobile elevating work platforms.
What does it all mean?
Select the right equipment
LOLER requires that lifting equipment must be of adequate strength and stability. This adds to the general obligations under PUWER regarding the suitability of work equipment.
Lifting equipment should be positioned or installed in such a way as to reduce the risk, as far as reasonably practicable, of the equipment or load striking a person, or of the load drifting, falling freely or being unintentionally released.
Mark all lifting equipment
All lifting equipment must be marked to indicating a safe working loads (or SWL); the maximum load the equipment can safely lift.
Each item of equipment should have a clear ID or serial number for reference.
Note: Where equipment is to be used to lift people, it should be marked to indicate the number of people that can be lifted in addition to the SWL of the equipment.
Operations and Engineering
LOLER covers both the operation and maintenance of lifting equipment
Any foreseeable risks are to be identified and appropriate resources (including people) to enable safe completion are to be put in place.
Factors to look at include:
- working under suspended loads
- attaching / detaching and securing loads
- Item being lifted
Maintenance and Inspection schedules are to be carried out as to ensure equipment is in a safe working condition,
Factors to look at include:
- Carry out your service schedule.
- Carry out Pre use checks
- Carry out regular maintenece inspections and repairs
- Have a Thorough Examination carried out by a suitably independent and competent person (this is a legal requirement).