As an employer providing lifting equipment for use at work, you must make sure it’s safe for continued use and that there are no signs of deterioration that may lead to failure. Otherwise, things can go wrong. Not only can equipment be damaged, but more seriously, result in significant or even fatal injuries.
When it comes to the inspection of lifting equipment, the use of common lifting machinery such as cranes, hoists, and various types of lifts, as well as accessories like slings, hooks, and shackles must all be regularly inspected and recorded for the safety of employees.
But what exactly does the inspection of lifting equipment involve? And what are the legal requirements that surround it? Let’s take a closer look.
Because of the risk that comes with handling lifting equipment, health and safety laws place a number of specific obligations on those providing, controlling and using said equipment. This is often referred to as a LOLER inspection (Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998) and places responsibility on duty holders to ensure that any lifting equipment provided is safe and undergoes regular, thorough inspections.
What is LOLER?
LOLER Regulations came into force on 5th December 1998 and were made under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.
It was introduced to address the specific risks associated with the use of lifting equipment, as well as the importance of thorough inspections, reporting, and record-keeping.
What is considered a ‘thorough examination’ under LOLER?
Under LOLER, a thorough examination is a systematic and detailed assessment of the lifting equipment by a competent person to detect any defects that are or might become dangerous.
A thorough inspection must result in a report that contains the information required by LOLER Schedule 1, which includes:
- The date of inspection
- The date of when the next inspection is due
- Any defects found which are or could become a danger
If any defects are identified, the person conducting the inspection must immediately report this to the duty holder. A written report must then be produced, a copy of which must also be sent to the relevant enforcing authority.