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Statutory Inspections

Statutory Inspections

What is LOLER legislation?    

These Regulations (often abbreviated to LOLER) place duties on people and companies who own, operate or have control over lifting equipment. This includes all business and organisations whose employees use lifting 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 also requires that all equipment used for lifting is fit for purpose, appropriate for the task and suitably marked. 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 is a Thorough Examination?  

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:

  1. The examination date
  2. The date when the next thorough examination is due
  3. 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 duty holder. This should then be followed by the written report, a copy of which must also be sent to the relevant enforcing authority.

What is a LOLER test? 

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 them complete a written report. This report must contain the information required by LOLER schedule 1 including: 

  1. The examination date
  2. The date when the next thorough examination is due
  3. 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 duty holder. This should then be followed by the written report, a copy of which must also be sent to the relevant enforcing authority.

What is a Statutory Examination or test?  

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 them complete a written report. This report must contain the information required by LOLER schedule 1 including: 

  1. The examination date
  2. The date when the next thorough examination is due
  3. 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 duty holder. This should then be followed by the written report, a copy of which must also be sent to the relevant enforcing authority.

How often do I need to get my lifting equipment Thoroughly Examined?       

Unless there is an 'examination scheme' specifying other intervals, thorough examinations, should be conducted at least every:

  1. 6 months, for lifting equipment and any associated accessories used to lift people
  2. 6 months, for all lifting accessories
  3. 12 months, for all other lifting equipment

Who can carry out a Thorough Examination?

Someone designated as a Competent Person under the terms of the regulations. To be designated, the examiner must have had appropriate experience and training.

What constitutes a "competent person" in relation to Thorough Examination?  

The term 'competent person' is not defined in law but the LOLER Approved Code of Practice and guidance states, You should ensure that the person carrying out a thorough examination 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. Although the competent person may often be employed by another organisation, this is not necessary, provided they are sufficiently independent and impartial to ensure that in-house examinations are made without fear or favour. However, this should not be the same person who undertakes routine maintenance of the equipment - as they would then be responsible for assessing their own maintenance.

What is involved in a Thorough Examination?  

Thorough Examination should include the following

  1. Electrical devices (including earthing, earth bonding, safety devices, selection of fuses, etc.)
  2. Braking systems (including buffers and over speed devices); and
  3. Hydraulics

This list is not exhaustive. More detailed guidance can be found in the Safety Assessment Federation's (SAFed) Lift guidelines.

Do I need to have lifting accessories Thoroughly Examined?        

Yes, for most common lifting equipment and accessories, there are industry standard procedures and criteria which a competent person would follow when undertaking thorough examinations and making judgements as to the continued safety of the equipment. Methods used include:

  1. Visual examination and functional checks
  2. Measurements of wear
  3. (in some cases) traditional NDT (non-destructive testing) and load testing

Some disassembly or internal examination of parts may also be required.

Is maintenance and service work the same as a Thorough Examination?

No, where a thorough examination is a systematic and detailed examination is a systematic and detailed examination of the equipment and safety-critical parts, Maintenance and Service Work is keeping the product in an efficient state and order so that work can be carried out safely.

Lifting equipment is Thoroughly Examined at the end of the manufacture process and again on installation...why? 

The reason for this is when it is at the end of manufacture it is thoroughly examined as a stand alone item of lifting equipment to make sure everything is correct and the crane is working properly, it is tested and inspected again on installation as an encorporation of the vehicle to be sure the mounting position is right and it is safe to use.

What do I do in the event of a product fault, product damage or breakdown?     

If there is an issue with any of your products, just call Penny Hydraulics on 01246 811475, you will then be put through to the correct department and they will advise you on what you will need to do next.

Title: LOLER explained: What lifting equipment operators need to know | Penny Hydraulics

Meta description: Have questions about LOLER? Read on now to find out what LOLER is, why it was introduced, where it applies, and exactly how it affects your business.

LOLER explained: What lifting equipment operators need to know

The abundance of rules and regulations that apply to lifting and manual handling equipment can confuse even those with decades of experience in the industry. One of the most frequently misunderstood of these regulations is LOLER, which leaves many warehouse and factory owners confused.

To help you get your head around LOLER and ensure your business is operating within the bounds of UK law, we’ve put together this handy guide. So read on to find out everything you need to know about LOLER.

What is LOLER?

The Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations (LOLER) are in place to ensure that all lifting equipment is used in a safe manner. Any business or organisation whose employees operate lifting equipment on the job are required to comply to these regulations, which come under the Health and Safety at Work Act.

In practice, LOLER regulations require all lifting operations to be properly planned and supervised by a ‘competent person'. LOLER also requires that all lifting equipment must undergo regular examinations by a qualified technician to ensure that it is fit for purpose — it is the responsibility of the business who own or rent the equipment to make sure these examinations take place. The piece of equipment must then be appropriately marked and records of each examination must be kept, with any defects being reported to the person responsible for the equipment and the relevant enforcing authority (the HSE for industrial workplaces and the local authority in most others).

It should be noted that a LOLER inspection, known officially as a ‘thorough examination’, is not the same as routine maintenance such as replacing worn or damaged parts, topping up fluid levels, or making minor adjustments. LOLER testing must be performed by what is known officially as a ‘competent person’: someone qualified to perform the thorough examination.

In short, LOLER is a health and safety regulation specific to lifting equipment. If your business owns or operates lifting equipment in any capacity, it must comply with these regulations. To do so, your equipment must regularly undergo a thorough examination performed by a competent person, and all lifting operations must be properly planned and supervised by an adequately trained employee.

Why was LOLER introduced?

The Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations were passed in 1998 (which is why you may see them referred to as ‘LOLER 1998’). They replaced the Construction and Use (Lifting) regulations of 1961, which required each piece of lifting equipment to undergo an overload test every four years.

These old regulations were replaced because certain types of lifting equipment are prone to damage during conventional overload tests. LOLER inspections, which involve a thorough examination each year, are much less intensive and therefore don’t affect the lifespan of this lifting equipment. As they are able to be performed more regularly, they also better ensure the performance of lifting equipment.

How is LOLER enforced?

Health and safety inspectors enforce LOLER. As they have the authority to request access to your thorough examination and lifting operation reports at any time, it is crucial that you maintain a thorough record of all of this information. Furthermore, if one of your employees suffers an accident while using a piece of lifting equipment, you will be prosecuted if the regulations weren’t properly followed.

It is therefore crucial that whenever lifting equipment is used on your business’s premises, the HSE’s LOLER Approved Code of Practice and Guidance (ACOP) is followed to a tee. This will not only ensure the safety of your employees, but also provide legal cover in the event of a lifting equipment-related accident. Moreover, LOLER inspections will catch any defects with your equipment before they have a chance to develop and therefore help prolong its lifespan.

Where does LOLER apply?

LOLER applies every time lifting equipment is used on your business premises, whether you are the owner of that equipment or not. To comply with LOLER, this equipment must have passed a thorough examination by a competent person in the last 12 months, and it must be marked with its Safe Working Load (SWL), as well as any characteristic that might affect its safe use.

LOLER also requires that any lifting equipment used to lift people, such as mobile elevated work platforms, must be clearly marked with the maximum number of people it can lift at one time. Lifting equipment that is not designed to lift people but could conceivably be used to do so in error must be clearly marked to indicate it should not be used for this purpose.

Each lifting operation — which LOLER defines as “an operation concerned with the lifting or lowering of a load” — must be performed on equipment which has passed a thorough examination in the past 12 months and also be planned and supervised by a competent person.

If you are a contractor using your own lifting accessory, such as a sling or chain, on another person’s business premises, then you should have evidence with you of its last LOLER report.

Lifting equipment that LOLER does not apply to includes escalators and moving walkways, and simple pallet trucks that only raise their load a few inches off the ground.

Planning a LOLER lift

According to the HSE, lifting operations should be planned on a case-by-case basis. Routine lifting operations, such as the use of forklift trucks in a factory, only require minimal planning, whereas uncommon and complex operations should be planned more thoroughly in accordance to the LOLER ACOP by a competent person.

The purpose of a lifting operation plan is to address the foreseeable risks involved in the procedure, and detail the people and resources required for the safe completion of task. It should also clearly set out each step involved in the operation and assign each to a person with enough knowledge and expertise to perform the task safely and competently.

For complex operations, this plan should be enforced by a competent person and then kept on record. For commonplace operations, such as an experienced forklift truck operator performing a routine lift, a generic plan can be signed by the operator themselves.

If a lifting operation performed on your business premises was not properly planned by a competent person and results in the injury or fatality of anyone on-site, you will be liable to be prosecuted. It is therefore of the utmost importance that you carefully follow LOLER regulations to ensure the safety of your staff and protect yourself legally.

Who qualifies as a ‘competent person’ under LOLER?

The LOLER ACOP defines a competent person as someone 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 also be impartial so they can be sufficiently objective in their review of the equipment, so it is recommended you hire an external contractor to perform your LOLER inspections. This will ensure there is no doubting the validity of your LOLER inspections should there be an accident on your site.

If you buy your lifting equipment from ourselves, you’ll be able to take advantage of our service agreement, which includes a LOLER thorough examination from one of our impartial competent persons during installation. It also includes the option of an additional examination every 12 months to ensure you meet LOLER regulations each year.

What does a LOLER ‘thorough examination’ involve?

Under LOLER, a thorough examination is defined as a detailed inspection of a piece of lifting equipment performed by a competent person. The thorough examination must be recorded in accordance with LOLER Schedule 1

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