The Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 (often abbreviated to LOLER) place duties on people and companies who own, operate or have control over lifting equipment. This includes all businesses and organisations whose employees use lifting equipment, whether owned by them or not. In most cases, lifting equipment is also work equipment so the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations (PUWER) will also apply (including inspection and maintenance). All lifting operations involving lifting equipment must be properly planned by a competent person, appropriately supervised and carried out in a safe manner.
LOLER regulations 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.
What are the specified intervals for regular thorough examinations?
Unless there is an ‘examination scheme’ specifying other intervals, thorough examinations should be conducted every:
- 6 months, for lifting equipment and any associated accessories used to lift people
- 6 months, for all lifting accessories
- 12 months, for all other lifting equipment
What is a ‘thorough examination’ under LOLER Regulations?
This is a systematic and detailed examination of the equipment and safety-critical parts, carried out at specified intervals by a competent person who must then complete a written report. This report must contain the information required by LOLER Schedule 1, including:
- the examination date
- the date when the next thorough examination is due
- any defects found which are (or could potentially become) a danger to people
Where serious defects are identified, the competent person carrying out the examination must immediately report this verbally to the dutyholder. This should then be followed by the written report, a copy of which must also be sent to the relevant enforcing authority.
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