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LOLER – Use of Lifting Equipment at Work

The Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations, regularly referred to as LOLER, state that employers are responsible for the safety of their employees who use lifting equipment at work.  Employers must provide suitable lifting equipment for specific tasks, assess the risks that come with using the equipment, and do their best to protect their employees from those risks.

Safe Lifting Equipment

Employers are responsible for providing the right equipment for the individual tasks, and all lifting equipment must be clearly marked to indicate their Safe Working Loads (SWLs).  Many accidents that occur in the workplace from lifting equipment happen because the incorrect equipment is being used for the job, for example, by exceeding a machine’s SWL.

Once the correct type of equipment is purchased, the employer must then inspect it to make sure it was installed correctly.  They must then carry out a risk assessment on the equipment, come up with solutions to potential risks, for example, safeguarding any dangerous parts.  They should communicate the risks to their employees during training.

Employers must carry out regular inspections daily, weekly, or monthly according to the manufacturer’s suggestions, in order to check that the lifting equipment is working correctly.  Regular maintenance should be done to repair general wear and tear of the equipment which can occur from regular use or environmental conditions.  This maintenance must be recorded in a log.

Training

Staff should always be trained and made aware of safety risks before they are permitted to use any lifting equipment.  They should be given refresher training regularly to keep their skills fresh, and if the risks surrounding the equipment change, they should be trained again.

Only fully trained and competent persons should set up and operate lifting equipment.  If it is necessary to supervise a worker, this should be arranged before the equipment is used.