The Lowdown on LOLER

Eradicate lifting disasters by following guidelines under LOLER 1998 (Lifting Operations & Lifting Equipment Regulations)

Mechanical lifting equipment is used in every sector of industry, whether it be lifting and lowering of loads on a construction site, overhead cranes or patient hoists in a care home.

The Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 (LOLER) require people and companies who own, operate or have control over lifting equipment to follow strict regulations, including businesses and organisations whose employees use lifting equipment which is owned by them or not.  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.

LOLER aims to prevent the following types of accident:

  • A load falls and hits someone
  • Someone is hit by the lift equipment
  • The lifting equipment falls over/collapses
  • Someone falls whilst operating lifting equipment

There are 7 key requirements:

  • Plan and Supervise Lifting Operations Correctly: Investigation following a lifting accident uncovers that accidents occur when planning/supervision or both has not taken place.  It is important to draw up a plan before the lift and have the appropriate level of supervision, directly proportionate to the risk.
  • Ensure Suitability, Strength and Stability: It is a legal requirement under LOLER to ensure you are using equipment strong enough to lift the necessary loads and stable enough to deal with the conditions on site.
  • Secure the load: ‘Rigging and Slinging’ is the term used for the various means of attaching loads to cranes and hoists. Ensure that one the load is picked up it won’t slip or fall.
  • Install, Position and Use Lifting Equipment Correctly: Ensure that the lifting equipment is installed in line with the manufacturer’s intentions. Make sure the equipment is not too far away or close to the load due to be lifted.   Don’t lift over people.
  • Lift People Safely: Extra care and planning must be taken when people are the load. Extra safe guards must be put in place to protect them (detailed info below from Health and Safety Executive
  • Ensure your Lifting Equipment is Examined as LOLER Requires: All equipment must be regularly examined by a competent person e.g an insurance/Health & Safely consultant –
  • Keep Records: Ensure you keep on file all inspection and examination records in the event of an audit or investigation.  Report all defects and get necessary repairs completed.

Please see more detailed information via the attached Health and Safety Executive Website.

Source: Health & Safety Advisor: Paul Smith


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