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If you’re thinking of having some form of lifting equipment installed in your warehouse, workshop, or construction site, you might be wondering what is a LOLER inspection. Because of the inherent hazards associated with lifting materials or equipment to height, all lifting operations are subject to their own set of Health and Safety rules and regulations, it is necessary to be sure of the LOLER inspection requirements before going ahead with utilising your lifting equipment.
That doesn’t just mean heavy lifting carried out with mobile cranes, tower cranes, or gantry cranes, but also includes warehouse, garage, and workshop operations using forklifts, chain hoists, lever hoists, spider cranes, and all forms of hand-operated lifting equipment. Lifting accessories used to connect the load to the lifting machinery such as ropes, steel ropes, shackles, eyebolts, slings and hooks, also fall under the LOLER directive.
What does LOLER stand for?
A set of rules and regulations drawn up by the Health and Safety Executive, that specifically refers to lifting procedures for work purposes. LOLER stands for Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations. There are one or two anomalies such as lifts used by the public in shopping malls are not covered by LOLER, but a lift fitted specifically to carry employees between floors, dumb waiters, tail lifts, scissor lifts, and stairlifts are covered.
However, equipment not covered by LOLER generally falls under the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations (PUWER). Finally, what isn’t covered in the workplace by either of these specifics, will no doubt fall under the Health and Safety at Work Act. This puts responsibility for employee safety and wellbeing in the workplace squarely on the shoulders of the boss, or those designated in charge.
What is a LOLER inspection?
LOLER health and safety is split into specific requirements. Inspection, Planning, Operation, and Maintenance. An inspection is not the same as periodic maintenance.
Firstly, the lifting equipment must be assessed as being the correct type for the job in hand. Before the lifting machinery is used for the first time, or after it is assembled on-site, it is subject to a full LOLER inspection, which must be carried out by a ‘competent’ person. Wear and tear, damage, pistons, seals, and safety features, all have to be thoroughly checked before the equipment is declared safe for use. All inspections need to be recorded in a LOLER logbook, and defects and faults reported and signed off when rectified, you can then be issued with a LOLER certificate. The only exception to this obligation is if the lifting machinery has an EC Declaration of Conformity less than one year old. A LOLER lifting equipment inspection is also required when:
What Is A LOLER Certificate?
We previously mentioned LOLER certificates, you may be wondering what is a LOLER certificate, worry not, we have all of the answers. Following the thorough examination carried out by a competent person, you will then be issued with a LOLER certificate with all the main details of the inspection including: date, reason for inspection, equipment serial numbers, SWL, defects, details of repairs, details of the inspector. The LOLER certificate acts as proof of the inspection and essentially proves that the equipment has been tested and is in compliance with regulations.
With the right lifting machine for the job in place, and a full inspection completed, the next step is planning the lift. Your responsible person should have good knowledge of the dangers involved with heavy lifting. The operational area should be coned off, and any overhead hazards assessed. They should also remain onsite during lifting operations to keep the area clear and assist the crane operator as required.
Operating the equipment
Lifting equipment does not need to be operated by a LOLER appointed person, it can be operated by a competent employee, provided they are trained and certificated in all aspects of the particular lifting machinery in use. They can also undertake all pre-operation checks and safety requirements as laid down by LOLER. Your company engineer can also be your designated ‘competent’ mechanic for all routine maintenance requirements and normal breakdown situations. However, the competent person carrying out the LOLER inspection should not be the same person that carries out the routine maintenance. In the case of an accident inquiry, it could be construed as a conflict of interests, in so much as the person carrying out the inspection is assessing his own work.
At Universal Lifting Hire Services, all our lifting equipment comes fully LOLER inspected and certified, to ensure you get fully serviced and inspected lifting equipment, and all our lifting machinery displays its maximum safe working load (SWL), to help ensure your next lifting project is undertaken in a safe and problem-free manner.
For more information about our services, or for more on LOLER inspection requirements, please get in touch with a member of our team.