This LOLER Regulations guide gives you a rundown of the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 (LOLER).
It describes what you, as an employer, business operator or manager, may need to do to protect your employees in the workplace.
It will also be useful to employees and their representatives.
However, it is important that you also refer to the Regulations and Approved Code of Practice to familiarise yourself fully with your duties.
Lifting equipment includes any equipment used at work for lifting or lowering loads, including attachments used for anchoring, fixing or supporting it.
The LOLER Regs cover a wide range of equipment including, cranes, forklift trucks, lifts, hoists, mobile elevating work platforms, and vehicle inspection platform hoists. The definition also includes lifting accessories such as chains, slings, eyebolts etc.
LOLER does not apply to escalators, which are covered more specifically by the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992.
If you allow employees to provide their own lifting equipment, then this too is covered by and should comply with the Regulations.
Do the LOLER Regulations apply to my business?
If you are an employer or self-employed person providing lifting equipment for use at work, or you have control of the use of lifting equipment, then the Regulations will apply to you.
They do not apply if you provide equipment to be used primarily by members of the public, for example lifts in a shopping centre.
However, such circumstances are covered by the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 (HSW Act).
LOLER Employee Duties
While your employees do not have specific duties under LOLER, they do have general duties under the HSW Act and the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 (the Management Regulations).
For example to take reasonable care of themselves and others who may be affected by their actions and to co-operate with others.
The Regulations cover workplaces where the HSW Act applies – this includes factories, offshore installations, agricultural premises, offices, shops, hospitals, hotels, places of entertainment etc.
What do the LOLER Regulations require me to do?
You need to make sure that when using any lifting equipment the requirements of LOLER are met.
For example, you should make sure that all lifting equipment is:
- Sufficiently strong, stable and suitable for the proposed use. Similarly, the load and anything attached (e.g. timber pallets, lifting points) must be suitable;
- Positioned or installed to prevent the risk of injury, e.g. from the equipment or the load falling or striking people;
- Visibly marked with any appropriate information to be taken into account for its safe use, e.g. safe working loads.
- Accessories, e.g. slings, clamps etc, should be similarly marked.
LOLER | Operational Duties
Additionally, you must make sure that:
- lifting operations are planned, supervised and carried out in a safe manner by people who are competent;
- where equipment is used for lifting people it is marked accordingly, and it should be safe for such a purpose, e.g. all necessary precautions have been taken to eliminate or reduce any risk;
- where appropriate, before lifting equipment (including accessories) is used for the first time, it is thoroughly examined.
- Lifting equipment may need to be thoroughly examined in use at periods specified in the Regulations (i.e. at least 6-monthly for accessories and equipment used for lifting people and, at a minimum, annually for all other equipment) or at intervals laid down in an examination scheme drawn up by a competent person.
- All examination work should be performed by a competent person (someone with the necessary skills, knowledge and experience);
- following a thorough examination or inspection of any lifting equipment, a
report is submitted by the competent person to the employer to take the appropriate action.
Download the LOLER Approved Code of Practice (ACOP)
This Approved Code of Practice and guidance is for those that work with any lifting equipment provided at work or for the use of people at work, those who employ such people, those that represent them and those who act as a competent
person in the examination of lifting equipment.
It sets out what you should do to comply with the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 (LOLER).
Why is Lifting Equipment Safety Important?
Working with any machinery can be dangerous because moving machinery can cause injuries in many ways.
Before carrying out a lifting process or installing a piece of lifting equipment, a risk assessment should be carried out.
Lifting operations and lifting equipment can present various different risks to operators, such as;
- People can be hit and injured by moving parts of machinery or dropped or ejected material.
- Parts of the body can also be drawn in or trapped between rollers, belts, chains and pulley drives.
- Sharp edges can cause cuts and severing injuries and rough surface parts can cause friction or abrasion.
- People can be crushed both between parts moving together or towards a fixed part of the machine, wall or other object
- Parts of the machine, materials and emissions (such as steam or water) can be hot or cold enough to cause burns or scalds and electricity can cause electrical shock and burns.
- Equipment or attachments can become unreliable and develop faults due to poor or no maintenance, or machines may be used improperly through inexperience or lack of training.
- Parts of the equipment may fail and loads may drop.
Do's and Don'ts of LOLER Safety
As the dutyholder you should make sure that all employees likely to use lifting equipment, understand and follow these dos and don’ts:
1. Check the equipment is well maintained and fit to be used, i.e. appropriate for the job, working properly and all the safety measures are in place;
2. Make sure all parts, including attachments, can accommodate the load weight;
3. Use the equipment properly and in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions;
4. Make sure employees are wearing the appropriate protective clothing and equipment, required for that machine, such as safety glasses, head protection and safety shoes.
1. Use equipment that has a danger sign or tag attached to it.
2. Danger signs should only be removed by an authorised person who is satisfied that the equipment or process is now safe;
3. Remove any safeguards, even if their presence seems to make the job more difficult;
4. Wear dangling chains, loose clothing, rings or have loose long hair that could get caught up in moving parts;
5. Distract people who are using equipment.