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Our Guide to: LOLER Inspections | Regulations & Requirements

by | Sep 9, 2023 | Guides, LOLER Inspection

LOLER inspections are essential certifications supported by the Safe Use of Lifting Equipment: Approved Code of Practice (ACOP), required for businesses across many sectors that use lifting equipment, including cranes, hoists, and employee elevators. It’s essential to understand the regulations and where they apply to stay compliant as a business. Read on to learn more about a LOLER inspection and whether you need one.

What is a LOLER inspection?

LOLER stands for Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations. It’s a lifting equipment inspection with a detailed examination designed to highlight and monitor faults, breaks, wear and tear, and the general operational standard of equipment. The examination focuses on the strength, stability, installation, and positioning of the equipment. To be LOLER compliant, all lifting equipment and lifting accessories, should be fit for purpose and appropriately labelled with all damage and maintenance reports recorded.

Each LOLER inspection must be carried out by a ‘competent person’ who’s fair, knowledgeable, and skilled in understanding and evaluating the equipment. This check helps identify dangers, report hazards, provoke repairs, and ultimately keep your employees and users safe.

Is LOLER a legal requirement?

Yes, LOLER inspections have been made Law under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and are a legal requirement when working with lifting tools and powered access platforms. The consequences of non-compliance with LOLER can be devastating. Without compliant LOLER checks upheld, not only are you putting yourself and your staff at serious risk of potentially fatal injuries, but you could also be fined or even imprisoned.

How often should LOLER inspections be done?

Ensuring you meet the frequency and requirements of LOLER inspections is essential to stay compliant throughout your lifting equipment’s lifespan. Ensure your LOLER checks are completed:

  • Before the first use – for the first time use, you need to ensure the equipment is safe and fit for purpose. Unless the equipment has a Declaration of Conformity less than one-year-old and the equipment was not assembled on site, it’s essential to have a LOLER expert look at it to make sure it’s safe to use.
  • After assembly – when setting up equipment at a new site (e.g. tower crane), it must be checked before use at each location. This is to make sure it was put together correctly and it’s safe for action.
  • Regularly in service – most equipment is exposed to conditions that cause deterioration and wear and tear, so will need regular in-service examinations. For equipment exposed to heightened or extreme conditions such as detrimental weathering, you may need to consider scheduling more frequent checks. LOLER recommend every 6 or 12 months, depending on the equipment and site locations. Or you could use an inspection plan made by an expert to ensure compliance with appropriate frequency.
  • After exceptional circumstances – A LOLER inspection is essential should any equipment be damaged or fail, be used for the first time after long periods, or undergo major changes such as modifications, or replacement/repair of parts.

LOLER inspections are designed to keep everyone safe when using powered lifting equipment. It’s important to book your checks regularly and ensure they are thoroughly conducted by a competent inspector. 

If you’re not sure how often your equipment needs a LOLER inspection, we can provide a LOLER plan with reminders to notify you when your equipment is due for inspection. Get in touch for more information. 

What equipment needs a LOLER inspection?

All lifting equipment and lifting accessories used for work within construction, commerce and industrial sectors are subject to LOLER including work equipment provided by employers and self-employed persons. However, LOLER regulations only apply to work activities, for example:

  • Cranes, excavators, and diggers
  • elevators or lifts provided for workers
  • sockets, lifting chains, & hoists

What lifting equipment is not covered by LOLER inspections?

Only lifting equipment which is used at work requires LOLER inspections. Some lifting equipment or lifting transportation on/near work sites may not be used by people at work but by the public instead. Stairlifts, platform lifts, and chair lifts in shops, commercial sites, and airports are not subject to LOLER’s specific provisions. However, equipment that’s accessible to the public is subject to the Health & Safety at Work Act and should still be thoroughly examined for safety. In this instance, LOLER regulations can still be an excellent guide to follow.

Do I need to keep a record of LOLER reports?

Yes, keeping records of LOLER reports is essential for the safety and compliance of your lifting equipment. Your records do not need to be kept in hard copy form but you should be able to provide a written copy when necessary. Having detailed records of LOLER reports serves your business with more benefits than just its legal obligation, including:

  1. Compliance – keeping records is a legal requirement under LOLER. Regulatory authorities may ask for these records during inspections, and having them ready demonstrates your commitment to safety standards.
  2. Maintenance History – records provide a track of equipment condition over time and assist in planning maintenance and repairs. It provides a clear picture of when examinations were done, any issues identified, and the actions taken to address them.
  3. Accountability and business protection – records act as a trail of accountability proof. In case of any incidents or accidents, having well-documented records can help prove that you’ve taken necessary precautions to ensure the equipment’s safety.
  4. Confidence – clients and stakeholders often want assurance that the lifting equipment they’re using is safe and compliant. Being able to provide comprehensive records can boost their confidence in your services and build trust in your company’s commitment to safety.

How long do you need to keep LOLER records?

Depending on the type of inspection, record keeping time limits for LOLER reports vary as follows:

  • First-use Inspection – maintain the records for the duration of equipment use. For lifting accessories, retain the records for a minimum of two years.
  • Exceptional Circumstances Inspections – in cases where the operational environment has an impact, ensure the records are preserved as long as the equipment remains in use at that specific location.
  • Annual Comprehensive Examination – keep a record of these examinations for a minimum period of two years.
  • Periodic Maintenance Checks – retain these records until the next test or inspection of the equipment takes place.

We know it can be difficult to keep up with multiple LOLER inspections for various equipment so we’ve created reminders for our clients that will prompt you to book your LOLER inspections in time for all your lifting tools and accessories. Schedule your LOLER inspections with us today

Who can do LOLER inspections?

Regulations state that a ‘competent person’ should be nominated by the employer to carry out LOLER thorough examinations based on his or her level of training, knowledge, and experience of the equipment, defects, testing methods, and fault diagnosis in order to meet the criteria of a qualified LOLER inspector. A ‘competent person’ must be independent of the employer’s line management and cannot be the same person who undertakes routine maintenance of the equipment

It’s best to use an external organisation to provide LOLER inspections to avoid breaches in the LOLER regulations and ensure you are compliant as a business by using a suitable LOLER expert as your ‘competent person’.

For more information on how we can help you with LOLER regulations, or schedule an inspection, visit our LOLER inspection page, enquire today, or simply call us on 01525 375 225

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