LOLER regulations are intended to protect the health and safety of employees when lifting, lowering, anchoring, supporting and fixing loads with the help of equipment. It covers any equipment that can be used in this capacity and any attachments that this equipment may use for the task.
LOLER stands for: Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations. LOLER regulations are part of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and first became law in the UK on 5 December 1998.
LOLER applies to a variety of equipment that is used for lifting and lowering loads – anything from lifts, forklift trucks, cranes, mobile elevating and vehicle inspection platforms to lifting slings, hoists and anything else that is used to lift, lower, support, anchor or fix a load. It also covers any attachments used for this purpose.
It is important to remember that LOLER applies to equipment used at work. There are instances where LOLER will not apply, for example escalators, moving walkways and conveyer systems that only raise the load off the ground to be transported will not be covered by LOLER regulations. Those, however, will be covered by PUWER (the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulation, 1998). PUWER also covers everything that LOLER regulations cover but not vice versa. This is important because where LOLER regulations apply, so do PUWER ones.
To adhere to LOLER regulations there are a few things that need to be checked and maintained.
First, the manufacturer's installation and positioning guidance must always be followed to minimise any risk while using the equipment. Then, you must inspect it to make sure it is strong and stable for use, and risk assess it so you can take preventive action and make plans for how you'd deal with any emergency. Next, you must make sure that the equipment is used appropriately, so check that workers are respecting the maximum load guidelines and that the equipment is not used for anything but its intended purpose. It is also important to display any relevant information on the machinery, including maximum load, who can use it and anything else that may be relevant to those using the equipment.
Another thing that LOLER takes into account is that anyone using LOLER-covered equipment needs to go through appropriate training and, if need be, to be supervised while using the equipment.
Before lifting begins a plan needs to be in place for any hazards that may arise. This may include, but is not limited to, proximity or overloading and any location hazards that may pose a risk. The equipment should be inspected on a regular basis and any damage or risks identified during the inspection must be reported and remedied before the equipment is used again.