17 Aug, 2023

There are a lot of rules and regulations around lifting equipment that can confuse even the most experienced leaders in the industry. 

LOLER (The Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations) is frequently misunderstood and overlooked when businesses are carrying out routine maintenance. 

It is important to understand and be clear that routine maintenance is not the same as a LOLER inspection/examination.

Lifting equipment is also subject to the requirements of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER). Find out more below.

What Is LOLER?

LOLER was put in place in 1998 and replaced the Construction and Use (Lifting) Regulations 1961, The Lifting Plant and Equipment (Records of Test and Examination) Regulations 1992, and Docks Regulations 1988.

These regulations were updated in 1998 and replaced with LOLER to ensure that certain types of lifting equipment which were prone to damage would be inspected more frequently.

Any business or organisation whose employees operate lifting equipment is required to undertake LOLER inspections to comply with the law. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Overhead cranes 
  • Fork-lift trucks and pallet trucks 
  • Goods lifts and passenger lifts 
  • Hoists 
  • Mobile elevating work platforms 
  • Vehicle inspection platform hoists 

What is A LOLER Inspection?

A LOLER Inspection is a type of safety examination required by law in the UK for all lifting equipment and accessories used for work purposes.

The examinations are necessary to verify that the lifting equipment can continue to be safely used.

LOLER inspections are defined as detailed inspections of equipment performed by a competent person/organisation, such as ISI. The inspection must be recorded in accordance with LOLER Schedule 1 and must include all information required by LOLER ACOP.

Why Does Your Lifting Equipment Need Inspecting?

Over time, lifting equipment will endure wear and tear or damage which can result in the equipment becoming unsafe for use.

Whilst your equipment may be regularly maintained, a thorough examination by means of a LOLER inspection is crucial to ensure the utmost safety of your staff and plant and to comply with the Law.

By doing so, your business can benefit in the following ways:

  • Increase health and safety standards in the workplace
  • Reduce liability in the unfortunate event of an accident
  • Reduce downtime for your machinery and employee’s workload

LOLER Inspection Frequency

To ensure that your lifting equipment and accessories are safe to use, we recommend noting the following schedules:

Before using for the first time - unless the equipment has a Declaration of Conformity less than one-year-old and the equipment was not assembled on site. If it was assembled on site, it must be examined by a competent person to ensure that the assembly (eg a platform lift installed in a building) was completed correctly and safely.

After assembly and before use at each location - for equipment that requires assembly or installation before use, e.g. tower cranes.

Regularly, while in service - if the equipment is exposed to conditions that cause deterioration which is likely to result in dangerous situations. Most lifting equipment will be subject to wear and tear and so will need regular in-service examination. Some may be exposed to significant environmental conditions which may cause further deterioration. You have a choice:

  • Arrange for a thorough examination to be carried out at the intervals specified by LOLER (every 6 or 12 months, depending on the equipment - see our Inspection Frequency Guide.
  • Conduct examinations in accordance with an examination scheme, drawn up by a competent person.

Following exceptional circumstances - liable to jeopardise the safety of lifting equipment, which may include:

  • Damage or failure
  • Being out of use for long periods
  • Major changes, which are likely to affect the equipment's integrity (eg modifications, or replacement/repair of critical parts)

As mentioned, LOLER inspections are a requirement by Law.

Who Can Carry Out LOLER Inspections?

Under LOLER, the term ‘a competent person’ is not actually defined in law.

However, there is guidance and a code of conduct ‘LOLER Approved Code of Practice and Guidance’ which states as follows:

'You should ensure that the person carrying out a thorough examination has such appropriate practical and theoretical knowledge and experience of the lifting equipment to be thoroughly examined as will enable them to detect defects or weaknesses and to assess their importance in relation to the safety and continued use of the lifting equipment.'

At ISI, we have all the necessary expertise, knowledge, and specialist equipment readily available to undertake accurate and reliable LOLER inspections. 

Lifting Equipment Inspection Services By ISI

Industrial Safety Inspections (ISI) was formed in 1979 and is based in Tamworth, England, to provide quality engineering inspections and testing services. We cover the whole of the UK and have highly qualified engineer surveyors strategically based around the country to serve your needs.

Our aim is to help commercial and industrial customers across the UK meet their legal and statutory obligations to protect their businesses, staff, assets, and the public. 

At ISI, we pride ourselves on undertaking the most reliable and accurate LOLER inspections to ensure that your organisation is up-to-date with regulations and safe. Contact our team to find out more.