LOLER Regulations

The Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998

These Regulations can be found here.

Regularly shortened to LOLER these regs place legal obligations on individuals and organisations who own, operate or have control over lifting equipment. This includes all businesses, organisations and the self employed whose use lifting equipment either themselves or their employees, (Even if the equipment is owned by them or not).

In most cases, lifting equipment is also work equipment so the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations (PUWER) will also apply (including inspection and maintenance). All lifting operations involving lifting equipment must be properly planned by a competent person, appropriately supervised and carried out in a safe manner.

LOLER also requires that all equipment used for lifting is fit for purpose, appropriate for the task, suitably marked and, in many cases, subject to statutory periodic ‘thorough examination‘. 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.

What should you do ?

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.

Where you undertake lifting operations involving lifting equipment you must:

 

  • 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.

Where people are being lifted, there are additional requirements to prevent people from being injured in / by the carrier, including more frequent thorough examinations.

  • Mark all lifting equipment

All lifting equipment, including accessories, must be clearly marked to indicate their ‘safe working loads’ (SWL) – the maximum load the equipment can safely lift.

Where the SWL of any equipment or accessory depends on its configuration, the information provided on the SWL must reflect all potential configurations (for example, where the hook of an engine hoist can be moved to different positions, the SWL should be shown for each position). In some cases, the information should be kept with the lifting machinery, eg the rated capacity indicator fitted to a crane, showing the operator the SWL for any of the crane’s permitted lifting configurations.

Accessories must also be marked to show any characteristics that might affect their safe use. This may include the weight of the parts, where their weight is significant.

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.

Lifting equipment which is not designed for lifting people – but which might be used this way in error – must be clearly marked to indicate it should not be used to lift people.

 

  • Carry out regular Thorough examinations

Lifting equipment must be thoroughly examined in a number of situations, including:

before first use (unless there is a valid Declaration of Conformity made less than 12 months earlier)

where it depends on installation, or re-installation / assembly at another site

where it is exposed to conditions causing deterioration, liable to result in danger

Records of thorough examinations should be made and, where defects are identified, they should be reported to both the person using the equipment (and to any person from whom it has been hired or leased), and the relevant enforcing authority (HSE for industrial workplaces; local authorities for most other workplaces).