Your browser does not support JavaScript!

What is LOLER?

LOLER requires that 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 and suitably marked, with evidenced maintenance records and any defects reported.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) offers the following advice for businesses or organisations undertaking lifting operations that they must:

  • Plan them properly
  • Use people who are sufficiently competent
  • Supervise them appropriately
  • Ensure that they are carried out in a safe manner

What lifting equipment is covered by LOLER?

The LOLER regulations cover any lifting equipment used at work, however some equipment is not considered lifting equipment and so is not subject to LOLER’s specific provisions but when used at work the Provisions and Use of Work Equipment Regulations (PUWER) still apply.

‘Lifting equipment’ means work equipment for lifting and lowering loads. The definition includes attachments used to anchor, fix or support the equipment (e.g. the runway of an overhead crane).

‘Accessory for lifting’ means lifting equipment for attaching loads to machinery for lifting.

Lifting equipment covered under LOLER includes:

  • Cranes
  • Workplace passenger and goods lifts
  • Construction hoists
  • Dumb waiters
  • Scissor lifts
  • Vehicle tail lifts
  • Telehandlers and industrial lift trucks
  • Bath hoists
  • Ropes used for climbing or work positioning
  • Eyebolts
  • Shackles
  • Hooks
  • Slings
  • Vehicle lifts
  • Stairlifts

Selecting the right lifting equipment

In accordance with LOLER standards, all workplace lifting equipment should be positioned or installed in such a way as to reduce the risk, as far as is reasonably practicable, of the equipment or load striking a person, or of the load drifting, falling freely or being unintentionally released.

All equipment must also be appropriately marked, the HSE advises:

  • All lifting equipment, including accessories, must be clearly marked to indicate their safe working loads (SWL), which is the maximum load the equipment can safely lift.
  • 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 people are being lifted, additional training may be required to prevent people from being injured in / by the carrier.
  • 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, e.g. the rated capacity indicator fitted to a crane, showing the operator the SWL for any of the crane’s permitted flying configurations.

Who is a ‘competent person’?

A competent person:

  • Should have enough appropriate practical and theoretical knowledge and experience of the lifting equipment so that they can detect defects or weaknesses, and assess how important they are in relation to the safety and continued use of the equipment.
  • May be employed by a separate company, or selected by an employer from members of their own staff.
  • Should be sufficiently independent and impartial to make objective decisions.
  • Should not be the same person who performs routine maintenance as they would be responsible for assessing their own work.

Planning Lifting Operations

Before any lifting operation, LOLER requires that any foreseeable risks involved in the work are identified and that the appropriate resources (including people) necessary for safe completion are appropriately allocated.

The plan needs to clearly set out the actions involved at each stage of the operation and identify the responsibilities of those involved. The degree of planning and complexity of the plan will vary and should be proportionate to the foreseeable risks involved in the work.

According to HSE, factors to consider may include:

  • Working under suspended loads
  • Visibility
  • Attaching / detaching and securing loads
  • Environment
  • Location
  • Overturning
  • Proximity hazards
  • Lifting people
  • Overload
  • Pre-use checking
  • Continuing integrity of the equipment

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.

Do I need to keep records?

Yes, you must keep records of all thorough examinations and inspections for all your lifting equipment as set out in the this table.

The competent person undertaking your inspections under the provisions of LOLER must provide you with a written report of thorough examination and any inspections or tests they do. The report will identify if there are defects and what you must do to put them right.

Record Keeping for LOLER Inspections

Make an Enquiry