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The Legal Implications of Non-Compliance with LOLER

by | Jun 11, 2024 | Guides, LOLER Inspection

Non-compliance with LOLER regulations can have serious consequences, including hefty fines, higher insurance premiums, operational interruptions, and reputational harm. In extreme cases, it can lead to imprisonment, severe injuries, and costly legal battles.

In this article, we’ve broken down the legalities of LOLER regulations and what could happen if you fail to comply. 

LOLER regulations for lifting equipment 

LOLER stands for Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations – a set of guidelines designed to ensure the safety and efficiency of lifting equipment. LOLER regulations mandate regular and thorough examinations to identify and address faults, wear and tear, and overall operational standards. 

To be compliant with LOLER regulations,  inspections must be conducted by a LOLER competent person who has the necessary skills and impartiality to evaluate the equipment’s strength, stability, installation, and positioning of the equipment, ensuring that all lifting tools and accessories are fit for purpose, properly labelled, and maintained.

Is LOLER a legal requirement?

LOLER compliance is a legal requirement. Under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, LOLER inspections are mandatory for any operations involving lifting equipment and powered access platforms. Non-compliance with LOLER can have significant legal implications and risks to your business and employees’ health. 

What is failing to comply with LOLER? 

By not following LOLER regulations to a T, you could be failing to comply with LOLER. This could be anything from choosing an unqualified or biased inspector, to not upholding the frequency of inspections required.  Even record-keeping is essential to get right – if records cannot be located, or are outdated, you could be breaching compliance with LOLER. 

Here are some handy resources we’ve put together to help you understand what it takes to be compliant with LOLER requirements:

What happens if you don’t follow LOLER?

Failing to follow LOLER can have severe consequences. These regulations are designed to help maintain lifting equipment and to protect everyone who could encounter the equipment, including members of the public. If you don’t follow LOLER, you could increase the risk of accidents, legal penalties, operational disruptions, voided insurance policies, and serious reputational damage.

What are the consequences of non-compliance with LOLER?

There are financial, legal, or deadly consequences of non-compliance with LOLER. If you choose to take shortcuts or not follow LOLER, you could be facing the following consequences: 

Non-compliance Fines

LOLER is a legal requirement and non-compliance in the first instance can result in serious fines along with your company appearing on the publicly accessible HSE breach list

The fines for breaching Health & Safety and LOLER regulations are now unlimited (they were previously capped at £20,000) meaning there is an unlimited maximum charge. Depending on the severity of the breach, you could potentially face millions of pounds in penalties. As an example, Case No. 4739042 where a UK civil engineering company was found to be in breach of LOLER in 2023 and issued an £80,000.00 fine. They have since gone into administration. 

Financial and Operational Strains

As well as financial penalties, costly operational disruptions could occur regularly due to equipment failures and accidents which could, in turn, increase your insurance premiums. 

Damages and accidents could then affect your reliability as a business. You could be risking your reputation, potentially facing lost contracts and increased compensation claims – your business profitability could take a real hit. 


Yes, as a duty holder, you could be sentenced to prison. Failing to follow LOLER can result in a 6-month to 2-year prison sentence depending on the breach and the prison sentence could be in addition to a fine. 

Shortcuts around LOLER such as appointing yourself as a LOLER inspector are simply not worth it. For example, falsely pretending to be an inspector carries imprisonment for a term of up to 6 months. 

Injuries and Fatalities

Your employees’ and colleagues’ safety is the priority and non-compliance with LOLER could jeopardise this to the point where you could be putting their lives in danger. 

In the UK, there were 135 fatalities from work-related incidents in 2022/23 and 561,000 workers sustained a work injury. Don’t put your staff at risk. 


With negligence incidents come lawsuits. Non-compliance with LOLER can lead to several types of costly lawsuits that you and our business could do without, such as:

  • Personal Injury Claims
  • Wrongful Death Lawsuits
  • Product Liability Claims
  • Employer Negligence Claims
  • Breach of Contract Lawsuits

Who is responsible for LOLER?

A ‘duty holder’ is responsible for ensuring that LOLER checks are updated and maintained. This could be anyone or company who owns, operates, or has control over lifting equipment – usually the owner, facility manager, or supervisor for the company or equipment. If you’re responsible for the safe operation of a lift or lifting equipment, then you are a duty holder. 

How long does a LOLER test last?

The length of time required to carry out a LOLER inspection depends on the number of items that need to be inspected, but also will depend on the size and accessibility of equipment. In a typical 8-hour day, a competent Bramley Engineering LOLER inspector can usually test between 25 and 150 pieces of equipment and accessories, excluding travel time and repairs.

Once the LOLER test is done, the certificate will either last 6 or 12 months depending on the equipment, at which point you’ll need to book the next inspection to stay compliant. You need to retest every:

  • 6 months for lifting equipment used to lift people, and any associated accessories (such as elevators or cherry pickers)
  • 6 months for all lifting accessories (such as shackles, eyebolts, chains and hooks)
  • 12 months for all other lifting equipment, including employee-owned equipment (such as forklifts and cranes) 

How to get a LOLER certificate

We’d advise using external, qualified and accredited organisations for LOLER inspections to ensure compliance as a business by avoiding breaches of the LOLER regulations.  We offer LOLER inspection services, alongside an easily accessible record-keeping database and handy test due-date reminders to future-proof your LOLER compliance. 

Request a free LOLER inspection quote today and benefit from easy scheduling, non-disruptive tests, and reliable service. If you have any questions, send an enquiry to enquiries@bramleyengineering.co.uk or feel free to give us a call on 01525 375225 and we’ll be happy to help. 

In the meantime, why not take a look at our complete guide to LOLER inspection regulations and requirements?

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