What does LOLER stand for? The abbreviation LOLER stands for Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulation and it refers to the section of codes and standards that deal with safe work practices in regards to lifting heavy items and the equipment used to lift these items.
The purpose of these regulations is to ensure safe operation of lifting equipment and machinery in the workplace.
In this article everything you need to know about LOLER will be discussed, this will help you understand more about how it works and how it affects you as a worker or employer on a daily basis at your job site, in your warehouse, or even at home.
What is LOLER (Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations)?
LOLER is a set of regulations that govern the use, manufacture and inspection of lifting equipment. LOLER stands for Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations. It covers all lifts, hoists and other equipment related to people working at height. LOLER certificates are required for any lift over 6 meters (20 feet) in height or where persons are carried between different levels. LOLER checks will ensure your equipment complies with safety standards.
How are LOLER checks conducted? The aim of a LOLER inspection is to ensure that all items of lifting equipment used in construction comply with current standards. To pass your LOLER check, your equipment will be subject to assessment by an LOLER registered inspector. They will check that it has been installed correctly and is properly maintained; they may also lift it if necessary.
What happens if I do not comply with LOLER requirements? The equipment used in construction must meet industry regulations. In addition to a full lift inspection, your equipment may be subject to further checks as part of routine inspections by your local authority or HSE inspector. Deficiencies found during these inspections can lead to prosecution, fines and criminal record for those deemed responsible.
What Is The Purpose Of LOLER?
It is important to know about and understand what LOLER stands for so that you can be sure your lifting equipment meets safety standards, stays in good condition, and is used correctly. If you have lifting equipment at work, you may also need to comply with national regulations as well.
The purpose of LOLER is to provide a comprehensive code of practice which safeguards everyone who uses lifting equipment to work at height. Everyone, that includes you and your staff members, if you have them.
LOLER requires lifting equipment to be regularly inspected and suitably marked to indicate that it is “fit for purpose, appropriate for the task, suitably marked and, in many cases, subject to statutory periodic ‘thorough examination’”. The HSE also advise that “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”.
Who Has Obligations Under LOLER Regulations?
Those who have obligations under LOLER regulations are employers, self-employed individuals and those who employ others in their own business. It is the employer’s duty to ensure that they are provided with adequate training. Training should be provided on a regular basis to ensure competence of the equipment used by employees. It is also an employer’s responsibility to provide information on potential hazards associated with equipment use, including the risks involved with exposure to noise and vibrations at certain levels.
LOLER also applies to those who wish to install or use equipment for lifting. As with employers, it is essential that you are aware of relevant health and safety laws before purchasing a piece of machinery. It is also your responsibility to ensure that you properly maintain all pieces of machinery installed in your workplace. This includes ensuring they are fully functional, that they are correctly maintained, and that they are used correctly.
As a general rule, equipment that is designed for lifting loads of 10 tonnes or more, and any attachments to such machinery, must comply with LOLER regulations. Some machinery, however, can be used in certain cases as long as you have a Risk Assessment which addresses safety issues. One example is with forestry machinery—provided certain conditions are met.
What Does LOLER Cover?
LOLER stands for the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations. LOLER is a British law that covers the use of lifting equipment in industry. LOLER was introduced to make it safer to work at height in workplaces by regulating how work at height can be carried out and what equipment should be used.
LOLER covers the lifting of any type of load with the use of lifting equipment, such as:
- Sacks and bags
- Stacked materials
- Loose materials
LOLER stands for the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulation. This regulation is put in place by the U.K.’s Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to regulate lifting operations and lifting equipment to ensure that they are used safely.
LOLER regulations place duties on people and companies who own, operate, or have control over lifting equipment, and this does include businesses and organisations whose employees use lifting equipment and lifting accessories in any capacity without ownership over the equipment itself. In many cases, lifting equipment is also categorised as work equipment, so the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations (PUWER) will also apply in these cases.
During the operation of lifting equipment used at work, these actions must be properly planned by a competent person or competent people, whilst also being appropriately supervised and carried out in a safe and secure manner.
Furthermore, LOLER regulations require that all lifting equipment in use for any sort of lifting operation be fit for purpose, appropriate for the task, suitably marked, and be subjected to periodic examination to determine if there are any defects -all of which must be reported to the relevant enforcing authority.
LOLER regulations are supported by the Safe Use of Lifting Equipment: Approved Code of Practice (ACOP), as well as additional guidance supplied by HSE.
While the Approved Code of Practice is not regulated by law, this guidance has been produced under section 16 of the health and safety at work act and has a special status that supports LOLER regulations and the general provisions of section 2 of the health and safety at work act, as well as other regulations. These include the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations and PUWER.
During the operation of lifting equipment, as well as LOLER regulations, other legislation may apply. This can include the Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations for when safety harnesses are in use for rope access work.
It is essential that all passenger-carrying lifts have a LOLER exam and certification every 6 months by law. This includes all Gartec platform lifts and goods lifts.
Following the thorough examination, you should receive a written and signed report which identifies:
- The equipment examined, including the make and serial number, and premises
- The date of the last examination and the date when the next one should take place
- The safe working load of the lift
- The reason for the inspection
- The details of the tests carried out
- Any defects which are or may become a danger
- The details of any repair, renewal or alteration required to remedy the defect and the date by which it should be undertaken
- The details of the person carrying out the inspection
What Equipment Is Covered by LOLER?
Some equipment that requires a LOLER inspection includes:
- Passenger lifts
- Goods lifts
- Dumb waiters
- Mobility lifting aids such as patient hoists
- Cherry pickers
- Scissor lifts
Lifting Equipment To Which LOLER May Not Apply
LOLER only applies to lifting equipment which is used at work. Some work equipment – particularly continuous types that transport people or goods, often from one level to another – is not considered lifting equipment and so is not subject to LOLER’s specific provisions. However, when used at work, the provisions of PUWER still apply (including selection, inspection, maintenance, and training). Examples of work equipment which does not come under LOLER but still comes under the provisions of PUWER include escalators and moving walkways, many conveyor systems and simple pallet trucks (that only raise the load just clear of the ground so it can be moved).
Some lifting equipment may not be used by people at work, such as stair lifts installed in private dwellings and platform lifts in shops for disabled customer access – which are not subject to LOLER or PUWER in these circumstances. However, this equipment fitted in places with public access is subject to the HSW Act, and should be thoroughly examined and inspected for safety, using LOLER and PUWER requirements as a guide.
Other equipment, such as lifts in shopping centres, may be installed primarily for the use of customers who are not at work. Nevertheless, upon installation, this equipment must meet the requirements of all relevant product supply legislation and so be safe by design and construction when placed on the market. For example, stair lifts and platform lifts (mainly used for people with impaired mobility) come under the Supply of Machinery (Safety) Regulations 2008 and those over 3 m vertical distance normally require third party conformity assessment. Conventional passenger lifts must meet the requirements of the Lifts Regulations 2016.
Who Can Carry Out A LOLER Inspection?
The person assessing the lift must be independent and impartial to allow them to make an objective assessment of the lift. So if you’re wondering ’Can I complete a LOLER inspection myself?’, unfortunately, the answer is no.
The HSE defines a ‘competent person’ as ‘someone who has sufficient technical and practical knowledge of the lift to be able to detect any defects and assess how significant they are.’