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Criteria for Selecting a Qualified LOLER Inspector

by | Feb 15, 2024 | Guides, LOLER Inspection

If you’re a duty holder responsible for lifting equipment, a LOLER inspection will be required regularly to keep your equipment and workplace safe and compliant. But who can conduct the inspections? We’re explaining exactly that so you can understand the process of selecting a suitably qualified LOLER inspector, what a competent person is, and how to book your inspection. 

Can anyone do a LOLER inspection?

In short, no. To adhere to the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations (LOLER), it should specifically be a ‘competent person’ who conducts a LOLER inspection to examine lifting equipment. This designated person must be knowledgeable, independent, and impartial to remove bias and ensure objective safety checks and decisions are made during the test.

Knowledge and experience are essential in a competent person as LOLER inspections involve a thorough examination that involves a detailed assessment of the lifting equipment’s condition, safety features, accessories, and overall compliance with regulatory standards. This detail ensures that the equipment is fit for purpose, minimising the risk of accidents to ensure the safety of individuals and maintain functional business operations and compliance. Failing to comply to the LOLER regulations when selecting your LOLER inspection could result in serious consequences. 

What is a LOLER competent person?

A ‘competent person’ under LOLER is an individual recognised for their knowledge and expertise in identifying issues related to the lifting equipment they examine during a test known as a ‘thorough examination’. This term is a legal definition to set apart individuals with the capability to conduct thorough examinations from individuals who do routine servicing and maintenance activities.

According to HSE INDG422 guidelines, a competent person must:

  • have enough appropriate practical and theoretical knowledge and experience of the lifting equipment so that they can detect defects or weaknesses, and assess how important they are concerning the safety and continued use of the equipment.
  • not be the same person who performs routine maintenance as they would be responsible for assessing their own work.
  • be sufficiently independent and impartial to make objective decisions.

Can you carry out your own LOLER inspection?

As well as knowledge and experience, the guidelines for what constitutes a competent person emphasise that the individual should be impartial. Although it’s recommended that the competent person be employed by another organisation, this is not necessary. Provided you are sufficiently independent and impartial, you could conduct your own LOLER inspection if you possess the required expertise and can ensure impartiality. However, if you are the same person who undertakes routine maintenance of the equipment, or you’re a duty holder, you would then be responsible for assessing your own or your team’s maintenance work, leaving you open to accusations of bias or inaccuracies.

To ensure that LOLER tests are undertaken and recommendations made without fear or favour, it’s best to opt for an external LOLER inspection supplier. Using an external supplier creates a separation and ensures objectivity to prevent potential conflicts of interest. Independence and impartiality are essential. For more information on what a LOLER inspection is, see our guide to LOLER inspections.

The LOLER Training Courses and Accreditations

When choosing a LOLER inspection supplier it’s important to look out for trusted accreditations, experience, and qualifications. Organisations such as The Lifting Equipment Engineers Association (LEEA) play a vital role in ensuring that competence levels are met and maintained through continuous professional development. Key accreditations your chosen supplier should ideally have are:

  • LEEA Membership: members undergo technical audits and receive training and support to raise safety standards continually.
  • ISO 9001 Certification: This globally recognised certification ensures services are delivered to high-quality standards.
  • CSCS Cards: when inspections are due to take place on construction sites it is a requirement that LOLER inspectors have Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) cards to confirm that have the necessary skills and training to operate on live construction sites.

Benefits of using professional LOLER inspection services

We recommend enlisting an external company as a LOLER supplier to ensure your inspections are carried out by a truly competent person who is impartial and unbiased. Professional LOLER inspectors offer several advantages to benefit your business.

Safety & compliance benefits of hiring a LOLER inspector:

  • Accident prevention: Trained inspectors prioritise safety during equipment examinations, helping to identify potential defects or weaknesses in lifting equipment, and reducing the likelihood of accidents.
  • Legal compliance: You can be sure that their expertise and knowledge to assess a diverse range of lifting equipment ensures that all examinations align with LOLER regulations, reducing the risk of legal and regulatory complications.
  • Objective evaluation: Professional inspectors are independent and impartial, making unbiased decisions about the safety and compliance of lifting equipment. This ensures a fair assessment, free from conflicts of interest.
  • Peace of mind: Get peace of mind knowing that lifting equipment is regularly inspected by qualified lifting engineers and have confidence in its reliability and safety.

Operational benefits of hiring a LOLER inspector:

  • Reminders and scheduling: Some LOLER inspectors/suppliers will offer reminder services to ensure your equipment will be routinely assessed without risking a breach in compliance by becoming overdue. LOLER inspection frequency varies and can be difficult to manage without a service like ours.
  • Documentation and records: Maintain detailed records and documentation of LOLER examinations with ease. Like Bramley Engineering, some companies offer online record facilities to store your LOLER certificates and have ongoing easy access to all records. This documentation is evidence of compliance, which can be valuable in audits or legal situations.
  • Cost savings: While there is a cost associated with hiring professional LOLER inspectors, the long-term benefits often outweigh the initial investment. Identifying and addressing issues early can prevent costly repairs, replacements, or accidents, ultimately saving businesses money.

With the right selection, your supplier will be a reputable body, possessing relevant accreditations and offering a full-feature service so you can take the hassle out of staying compliant. We offer a full LOLER inspection service including flexible online scheduling, digital record storage, as well as ongoing email reminders so you never miss an inspection date. Get a quote today. 

How often should LOLER be carried out?

The frequency of LOLER inspections depends on the type of lifting equipment and its intended use. Although lifting equipment is thoroughly examined at regular intervals, the frequency varies, determined by factors such as the equipment’s usage, environment, and the potential risks involved.

Generally, LOLER recommends the following intervals for thorough examinations:

  • Every 6 months for lifting equipment used in lifting persons or lifting accessories.
  • Every 12 months for most other types of lifting equipment, including cranes, hoists, and other machinery.

However, specific circumstances may warrant more frequent examinations. For example when a machine or equipment is exposed to high-intensity usage, harsh environments, modifications, or repairs.

It is the responsibility of the duty holder (often the employer or person in control of the equipment) to assess the risk factors and determine an appropriate inspection schedule. If you’re unsure, get in touch and we can help to determine the right examination frequency based on the specific circumstances and requirements of the lifting equipment you need inspecting.

Book your LOLER inspection now 

Use us as your qualified LOLER expert to ensure regulatory standards are met. Request a quote and book your call back. For more information on our LOLER inspector service, please visit our dedicated LOLER inspection page or enquire today by phone directly at 01525 375 225.

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