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I am a specialist in work at height risk management and provide health and safety support to a variety of different businesses UK wide. The Lifting Operations Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 (LOLER) place duties on people and companies who own, operate or have control over lifting equipment. For those who work at height, LOLER compliance will apply to a good proportion of their work accessories. Here are the answers to my top 5 common questions:

Who should inspect my equipment that falls under LOLER?

Your equipment should be inspected by someone independent, so definitely asking your manager to look at it isn’t an option. It can be someone within the company but make sure they have had the appropriate training. My advice is to get someone from outside the company to inspect it. You can choose a dedicated LOLER inspection company but if you want to keep costs low see if you can team up with a similar company to yourselves. I know of two arborist companies who inspect each other’s and this works well.

If I know the equipment well should I still attend a PPE inspection course?

Yes. The regulations state that “the competent person should have sufficient knowledge and experience of using the equipment.” However, even though someone is an expert within their field it does not mean that they know how to inspect, maintain and manage PPE. 

What type of records to I need to keep to comply with LOLER?

Records should be kept of all thorough examinations and inspections, and the EC Declarations of Conformity for all lifting equipment and lifting accessories. Examination and inspection records do not need to be kept in hard copy form but you should be able to provide a written copy when necessary. The records should also be protected from unauthorised alteration.

 When purchasing work at height equipment what paperwork should accompany it?

Equipment must have been subject to a conformity assessment and be appropriately CE marked. It should be accompanied by a Declaration of Conformity (DoC) and be retained by the equipment owner.

Do eye-bolts fall under LOLER?

Yes, definitely. If you are planning to use eye-bolts when working at height make sure they have been subject to a thorough examination under LOLER. This will form part of your usual risk assessment.

Should lifting equipment used for people be inspected every six months?

Yes. The minimum length of time is six months. However, make an appropriate assessment of the risks to decide if your inspection regime should be more frequent. For example, those involved in rope access may use their equipment in all weathers, for many hours on a daily basis. In such circumstances I would definitely recommend more frequent checks.

For more advice about how LOLER affects your business contact us here