In health and safety, there are lots of abbreviations to get your head around. One you may have heard is LOLER. Especially if you become involved in any lifting work.
In health and safety, LOLER stands for the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations. This is a set of legal requirements surrounding lifting operations and the equipment used to carry them out. The regulations are often referred to as LOLER for short.
But what is LOLER, and why do you need to know about it?
LOLER is a set of legal requirements. The Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations aren't just a guide, they are the law.
If you need to lift materials or other items, on a construction site or in a fixed location, you need to know about LOLER. There are several things you need to know and need to do, to comply with the regulations.
The regulations apply in Great Britain to any employer, self-employed person, and any person in control of lifting equipment or lifting operations to any extent.
As the name suggests, LOLER covers both lifting operations and lifting equipment.
LOLER covers the lifting of any type of load with the use of lifting equipment, such as:
Regulation 8(2) of LOLER defines a lifting operation as "… an operation concerned with the lifting or lowering of a load". A 'load' is the item or items being lifted, which includes a person or people.
LOLER requires that all lifting operations are planned and supervised by a competent person. Lifting operations must also be carried out safely.
Ensure that every lifting operation involving lifting equipment is:
Lifting operations can put people at great risk of injury. If a heavy load slips or drops onto a person, the results can be serious and sometimes fatal. It is important to properly plan and organise a lift.
Use the lifting operations risk assessment template to help you identify and control the hazards involved.
Planning, supervising and controlling lifting operations is one part of making them safe. The other piece of the puzzle is the lifting equipment. Planning a lift is not safe if the equipment being used is unsuitable or faulty. The equipment used needs to be safe and appropriate for the lifting operation.
“lifting equipment” means work equipment for lifting or lowering loads and includes its attachments used for anchoring, fixing or supporting it;
Examples of lifting equipment covered by LOLER include:
As you can see, LOLER covers a wide variety of equipment used at work. If the equipment is used to lift or lower any type of load, it is lifting equipment.
To comply with LOLER, you need to consider:
LOLER requires that the equipment used is fit for purpose, suitable for the task and correctly marked. The regulations also place requirements for statutory periodic 'thorough examination' (testing and inspection).
Find out more about lifting equipment requirements with our lifting equipment toolbox talk.
When assessing equipment suitability, you also need to consider the accessories used. This could include slings, chains, hooks, eyebolts and other attachments.
All lifting equipment (machinery and accessories) need to be clearly marked to show their safe working loads. You should check all lifting equipment for safe working loads, and always stay within the limits.
Lifting equipment, including accessories, needs to have the right strength and stability to support the load. Lifting accessories also add weight to the load and need to be taken into account for the total safe working load.
There must be thorough examinations of lifting equipment. Every 6 months in the case of lifting equipment for lifting persons or lifting accessories. For other lifting equipment, at least every 12 months. No lifting equipment should be used without physical evidence of the last examination carried out.
Now you know what LOLER stands for, make sure your lifting operations are properly planned and safely carried out.