LOLER Regulations (Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998) are in place to ensure that lifting equipment is safe to use. The regulations cover all aspects of lifting operations, from the design and manufacturing of the equipment to its installation and maintenance.
Although lift regulations were in place before LOLER, these were improved upon in the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. However, LOLER Regulations only came into force on the 5th of December 1998, limited only to the UK.
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Types of Equipment Covered by LOLER Regulations
According to LOLER Regulations, lifting equipment is clearly defined as “work equipment for lifting or lowering loads and includes its attachments used for anchoring, fixing or supporting it”. So not only would a lift be subject to LOLER Regulations, but so would the hooks and ropes used within the operations of the lift.
The regulations apply to all types of lifting equipment, including:
- Suspension Equipment
- Elevating Work Platforms
In terms of lifts, LOLER Regulations apply to all types of lifts, including:
- Passenger Lifts
- Platform Lifts
- Service Lifts
- Glass Lifts
- Car Lifts
LOLER Regulations apply to the associated accessories used for lifting, such as chains, ropes, hooks, shackles and slings.
Guidelines and Criteria
When undertaking lifting operations or dealing with lifting equipment, you must ensure that:
- Operations are carefully thought out and planned
- The people involved are qualified and competent
- The people involved are well supervised
- Operations are carried out following all safety precautions
There are a variety of key requirements that must be met when dealing with lifting equipment, whether that’s cranes, lifts or any other type of lifting operation. These include:
- The equipment must be designed and manufactured to be fit for purpose
- The equipment must be professionally installed and maintained
- The equipment must be operated safely by qualified personnel
- Regular LOLER inspection and testing must be carried out to ensure continued safety.
Regular servicing is a crucial part of the LOLER Regulations. Although your lift may be working perfectly one day, one small malfunction overnight could see it working differently the next. servicing frequency is declared by the LOLER Regulations and depends on what type of lifting equipment you’re dealing with. The servicing frequencies are:
- Equipment for Lifting Persons – 6 Months
- Lifting Accessories – 6 Months
- Garage Vehicle Lifts – 6 Months
- Cranes – 12 Months
- Vehicle Mounted Lifts – 12 Months
- Fork Lift Trucks – 12 Months (6 depending on risk assessment)
Consequences of Breaching LOLER Regulations
If you’re responsible for LOLER-regulated equipment, it’s important that you’re familiar with the regulations and fully understand your responsibilities. Failure to comply with LOLER could result in serious injury or death, as well as prosecution.
There are several notable incidents where breaches of LOLER Regulations have ended with fatalities, massive fines and imprisonment.
In one case, two men were working on a raised platform 28ft in the air. A malfunction occurred and both men fell to the ground – one of the men died whilst the other suffered severe injuries. The platform hadn’t been regularly serviced and the manager of the firm responsible was found guilty of breaching LOLER Regulations and sentenced to two years in prison.
In another case, a crane collapsed killing two people. Similar to the previous case, the crane hadn’t been properly inspected and when found to have breached LOLER Regulations, the firm was fined £750,000 excluding legal costs.