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Before your equipment is put into service

Testing and thorough examination of a lifting appliance or lifting gear are required to be conducted by a competent person before it is put into use for the first time. A proof load test may be required by law and is a process that comprises of a thorough examination, a test and then a re-examination, and is required to demonstrate that the lifting solution or equipment is structurally sound, fit for purpose and safe to use. A thorough examination is a legal requirement to allow a piece of equipment to be put into service under the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations (LOLER).


How often must lifting equipment and accessories be thoroughly examined?

  • Before using it for the first time – unless the equipment has an EC Declaration of Conformity less than one year old and was not assembled on site. If it was assembled on site, it must be examined by a competent person to establish the assembly was correct and safe, e.g. a platform lift installed in a building.
  • Always have lifting equipment thoroughly examined following ‘exceptional circumstances’, e.g. if it is damaged or fails, is out of use for long periods, or if there is a major change in how it is used which is likely to affect its integrity.
  • Regularly in service if the equipment is exposed to conditions causing deterioration that is likely to result in dangerous situations. If this applies to your equipment you have a choice, you can arrange for the thorough examination to be carried out (a) at regular intervals (either at least every 6 months or 12 months depending on whether the lifting equipment is for lifting people or not); or (b) in accordance with an examination scheme drawn up by a competent person.
  • After assembly and before use at each location for equipment that requires assembly or installation before use, e.g. tower cranes.

When LOLER and PUWER Cross Over

In some cases the LOLER and PUWER inspection procedures can be combined if appropriate and the competent person can undertake the PUWER elements of the inspection under LOLER.

Read our Summary of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations (PUWER).


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