A Quick Guide to LOLER: What You Need to Know

quick guide to loler

The Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations (LOLER) are in place to safeguard that all lifting equipment is used in a safe manner. Any organization conducting business in Great Britain or on vessels in British waters and whose employees operate lifting equipment on the job, are required to comply to these regulations. They come under the U.K. Health and Safety at Work Act. In this quick guide, we’ll explore some key terms and concepts to understand in relation to LOLER, discuss LOLER versus PUWER and outline what equipment is covered by LOLER. For the most comprehensive understanding of LOLER as it applies to your business or organization, we encourage you to contact the LOLER competent authority in your area.

Key Terms and Concepts to Understand

Competent authority

A minister, government department or other authority empowered to issue regulations, orders or other instructions having the force of law. For example, in Norway, the Petroleum Safety Authority (Petroleumstilsynet) is a competent authority.

Competent person

A person who has such appropriate practical and theoretical knowledge and experience of the lifting equipment to be thoroughly examined as will enable them to detect defects or weaknesses and to assess their importance in relation to the safety and continued use of the lifting equipment. This person must be objective and impartial which quite normally means they must be an external contractor.

Lifting accessories

Equipment used to attach a load to lifting machinery. This equipment must be thoroughly examined every six months.

Safe working load (SWL)

The maximum load the lifting equipment can safely lift. All lifting equipment and accessories must be marked to indicate their SWL.

Thorough examination

A detailed examination by a competent person. LOLER requires that lifting equipment is thoroughly examined before it is first used, after the repair or replacement of an essential component and at least every 12 months.

U.K. Health and Safety at Work Act

Also referred to as HSWA, the HSW Act, the 1974 Act or HASAWA, is the primary piece of legislation covering occupational health and safety in Great Britain. The Health and Safety Executive, with local authorities (and other enforcing authorities) is responsible for enforcing the Act and several other Acts and Statutory Instruments relevant to the working environment. HASAWA can be viewed online in its entirety.

LOLER or PUWER?

LOLER and the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998, also known as PUWER are two separate regulatory regimes which are commonly used together. LOLER relates specifically to lifting equipment and PUWER relates to all types of work equipment used in business operations.

Who does LOLER apply to?

All entities who use lifting equipment, lifting accessories and items of loose gear. If your business works with lifting equipment, and you work in Great Britain (including British waters), LOLER applies to you.

How is LOLER enforced?

British health and safety inspectors enforce LOLER.

What equipment is covered by LOLER regulations?

LOLER provides regulations for lifting equipment, lifting accessories and items of loose gear used in your business. If you use any of these items in your business, even if you are not the owner of these items, you are responsible to follow LOLER.

How often should you inspect lifting equipment?

LOLER stipulates that four conditions must be assessed in determining if lifting equipment should be thoroughly examined by a competent person. All equipment must be examined at least every 12 months, before it is first used, after repair or whenever it is removed and refitted to the original chassis. If any of those conditions apply, the equipment must be thoroughly examined. It should be noted that lifting accessories are required to be thoroughly examined at least every 6 months.

Conclusion

Any organization conducting business in Great Britain or on vessels in British waters and whose employees operate lifting equipment on the job are required to comply to LOLER. There regulations provide a framework for a safe work environment and are enforced by British health and safety inspectors. Using Onix Work to comply with LOLER means your operations are streamlined and more efficient. All of your data and certificates are stored in one location and ready 24/7 for controls. If you are interested in learning more about how Onix Work can help your business stay LOLER compliant, contact us for more information. For the most comprehensive understanding of LOLER as it applies to your business or organization, we encourage you to contact the LOLER competent authority in your area.

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