Do the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 (LOLER) Apply to Me?


Many people are of the opinion that many regulations to do with their working environment don't apply to them if they are self-employed or a contractor working independently of their hiring company. Likewise, many companies feel that the contractor carries the burden if they are using their own equipment on site.

However, if you employ someone to carry out work on your behalf, or you have control of lifting equipment then the regulations apply to you, whether self-employed or not.

If you are an employer, your employees don't have specific duties under LOLER. However, this is where the HSW Act and regulations come in.

For example, the employees must take reasonable care of themselves and others because what they do may affect others and the safety of people around them.

As there are all kinds of lifting equipment covered by these regulations, it's also worth keeping in mind that what constitutes lifting equipment can be broad. For example, scissor lifts, hoists, cranes and hydraulic jacks are all covered.

What does the regulation state?

There are many places on the web where you will find a lot of information discussing the governance of LOLER. However, we'll summarise here.

In general, the equipment being used must be fit for purpose. It is, after all, lifting equipment and so it must be able to lift itself and any attached loads (including people) safely and well within tolerances as set out in the operating manual and specification.

For example, if it has lifting points, they should be able to handle the load being put on it without breaking, but you should also know what that load is, and so should anyone using the equipment. This also means that any safety information needs to be clearly marked on the equipment itself.

The position of the equipment should also be taken into account. If the equipment is going to be gaining height (which we can assume it will), then is there enough clearance above it? When at full extension, will it still be stable?

Why is this important?

Lifting equipment by its very nature is dangerous. It is usually sturdy, heavy and as it's lifting heavy loads; it can have items that can potentially fall and hurt people.

Parts of the machine may swing out when in operation, it may become unstable when lifting heavy loads or it could be kicking out smoke and steam. All of these things can pose a danger to life, which is why it is essential all safety precautions are taken into account.

Similarly, maintenance of the equipment is essential to ensure it remains in a safe condition. If parts of the machine become worn or damaged, it can easily lead to more dangerous faults which could lead to injury or loss of life.

Training is essential

Worlifts are able to provide all your training needs when it comes to LOLER and other HSE requirements, so don't leave it to chance. Contact us now and make sure you're covered.