In conjunction with the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations (PUWER) 1998, LOLER requires the duty holder, usually the employer or owner of the equipment, to safeguard people working with and operating lifting equipment, and to control the way in which they use and maintain lifting equipment. Lifting equipment is defined by LOLER as equipment used at work for the lifting and lowering of loads and persons and includes attachments used for anchoring, fixing and supporting the load.
This covers a wide variety of items including cranes, forklift trucks, passenger lifts and lifting accessories such as ropes, slings and eyebolts. LOLER requires businesses to undertake periodic inspections of their lifting equipment by an independent competent person.
At Safe Plant we provide routine in-service examinations of lifting equipment to comply with the requirements of LOLER.
Our engineer surveyors carry out thorough visual examinations, focusing on safety critical components and primarily aimed at controlling risks associated with:
- the failure of mechanical components or electrical devices that could lead to the loss of control of any load or persons being lifted, lowered, arrested or suspended
- the failure of mechanical components or electrical devices that could lead to persons falling from height – for example, from a crane
- the failure of mechanical components or electrical devices that are designed to protect persons, for example, safety or protective devices.
As well as reporting defects, routine in-service inspections are aimed at assessing an item’s fitness for continued use – that is ensuring that health and safety conditions are maintained and that any deterioration can be detected and remedied in good time.
All lifting equipment should be thoroughly examined where there is a risk that deterioration could lead to a dangerous situation. The table below shows the minimum statutory examination frequencies prescribed in LOLER.
However, there is a requirement to assess the actual risks posed by the lifting equipment according to the operations performed in specific circumstances, since those risks may well affect the required frequency of inspections. 6 months Lifting equipment that lifts people 6 months Lifting accessories, including shackles, hooks, chains etc.
12 months All other lifting equipment, including cranes and loading equipment Alternatively examination frequencies specified in a written scheme based on risk assessments of the equipment may be undertaken. In addition there is a requirement for examinations to be carried out:
- before the equipment is put into service (unless it has a declaration of conformity dated within the previous 12 months)
- immediately following installation or re-installation
- after an exceptional event, for example, an accident.