What does it take to plan a LOLER lift?
When it comes to planning a LOLER lift, lifting operations are required to be arranged on a case-by-case basis. This is specified and enforced by the HSE ( Health and Safety Executive). Many operations require basic minimal planning, such as using a forklift truck in a factory, as this is known as a typical lift. When a more uncommon and complex lift is required, this needs to be planned out more thoroughly and must comply with LOLER regulations and be performed by a competent and experienced person.
A lifting operation plan may seem excessive and unnecessary, but that couldn’t be more inaccurate. Careful planning is in place to address any foreseeable risks involved in the maneuver and to provide essential details on the people and resources needed to ensure the task is completed safely and accurately. The plan must also include detailed step-by-step instructions stating what each person is required to do and that they are assigned to the correct post depending on their individual level of experience and knowledge for the task.
For the more complex operations and those of greater difficulty, the plan must be enforced by a competent person with the correct level of expertise and then remain on record for the time required. For the more common operations, this can include an experienced forklift truck operator performing a routine lift, the operator is able to complete and sign a generic plan themselves.
Following LOLER regulations strictly is vitally essential to both a company and all the individuals employed. Failing to ensure a competent person performs a lifting operation within your business premises could result in the injury or fatality of anyone on-site. Making you liable and responsible and potentially prosecuted. Following LOLER regulations is required to keep records of the equipment and how well it is functioning, but it is also there to ensure your staff’s safety and legally protect yourself from incidents that can be avoided when the regulations are followed correctly.
What does a LOLER thorough examination cover?
What is covered during a thorough LOLER examination all depends on the professional opinion and judgement of the competent individual performing the examination. However, the examination needs to include all matters that affect the safety of the lifting equipment and consist of details on what is likely to deteriorate over time.
For lifting equipment and accessories that fall into the more common category, specific industry standard procedures are in place and a strict criteria that a competent person would follow and abide by when completing thorough examinations and judgements.
Methods required must include:
- A visual examination and functional checks
- Measurements of wear and tear
- Occasionally traditional non-destructive testing (NDT) and load testing
It is also not uncommon for some disassembly to the equipment or an internal examination to take place.
Once an examination scheme has been completed, it must not only identify but also specify:
- The methods used for the examination and testing process
- The parts that have been thoroughly examined
- The intervals of the examination and outline the testing of different parts if deemed appropriate.
Any other inspection regimes that the equipment has must also be included with all the necessary details and findings. Any individual with the correct level of competence is able to draw up examination schemes providing that they are qualified to do so. Examination schemes are not required to be kept in the form of a document however, it is required for a written copy to be produced when requested by the relevant enforcing authority while still remaining secure.
What makes LOLER inspections so important and why do they need to be completed?
According to a Health and Safety Executive Incident Review (HSE) that was conducted across a period of five years, 4,624 incidents were reported between the 1st April 1988 and the 31st March
Suppose a business does not have the correct LOLER inspection completed but feels the equipment is safe to use regardless. In that case, your company will face severe consequences whether an individual is injured or not. LOLER implications are no longer based on harm caused but are now measured on the potential risk of injury, meaning no matter how careful or trustworthy you grade your employees, you can still be prosecuted for not having an examination completed. These consequences include receiving a substantial fine which as a whole has drastically increased over recent years. These fines could exceed a business’s affordability sending a bold and clear message that this will not be tolerated.
Thankfully, there are several ways to ensure that this doesn’t happen to you. Promoting good practice within your workplace is always a good start. This can include completing your own checks. This doesn’t mean performing a thorough examination as a competent person would, but by carrying out simple pre-use checks on lifting equipment and even incorporating this into your routine will warrant that equipment is safe to use. Inspections and routine checks must be done regularly. This can be monthly, quarterly, or weekly, and you must keep up to date with LOLER inspections. Doing this will help to avoid the risk of injury and potential fines while reducing the risk of damage to the equipment. Complying with LOLER protects your employees and yourself and is crucial to your company’s reputation and future.
Health and safety are significant factors, and regulations are put in place to ensure that a business runs as smoothly and safely as possible.