The Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 (LOLER) was introduced in order to control and minimise the risks to employees when handling lifting equipment and any lifting related operations in the workplace. The regulations attempt to protect employees as well as members of the public, contractors, customers, officials and largely anyone who could use the premises while operations are in progress.
A LOLER compliant person ensures that lifting operations are always safe
Responsibility of planning
The regulations state that a LOLER compliant person should properly plan any lifting activity that involves the use of lifting equipment. Risk assessment is an integral part of the planning stage, and the plan must identify and address all possible risks involved during the operation. The plan must also list the resources required, as well as the standard operating procedures (SOP) and the responsibilities involved. Ideally, the plan should also map specific responsibilities to certain job profiles, e.g. supervisor, foreman, etc.
A workplace may have certain routine activities, such as loading large cartons of goods with a fork lift truck. In these situations, only an initial plan should suffice and provisions made to review the plan periodically to assess whether the plan is still appropriate. Ideally, such routine plans need to be reviewed every six months. More complex lifting operations usually require a new plan every time they are carried out.
Responsibility of supervision
The compliant person should supervise all lifting operations. The person needs to therefore have the necessary skills, knowledge and experience acquired through certified training to be able to assess the operation and ensure it is carried out safely. Another important task that a compliant person carries out is inspection of all lifting equipment. Lifting equipment needs to be marked with a safe working load. If the equipment is likely to carry people, the maximum number needs to be shown, and it is the responsibility of the compliant person to ensure that this is in order. It is important to note that forklift arms or pallets on a forklift can never be used to transport people.
Responsibility of examination
The LOLER compliant person is also responsible for regularly carrying out a 'thorough examination' on all lifting equipment. This is detailed within a written scheme of examination, also drawn up by the compliant person. The regulations stipulate that the examining officer needs to be equipped with practical and theoretical knowledge and experience of the lifting equipment that needs to be examined. This is important, so that significant defects that can impact the safety of operations may be detected in time.
Who can be a LOLER compliant person?
The compliant person is usually an independent one. He/she can be an external person and often an employee of an insurer. Independence is a key factor as the person needs to be in a position to carry out his/her duties without interference, bias or pressure from the company. The regulations state that this person cannot be the same one who carries out the regular day-to-day maintenance of the equipment. The practice of having an external person to carry out the equipment also allows the in-house supervisor to review and assess their own methods of equipment maintenance and safety at the workplace, creating a virtuous cycle of best practice being followed in the workplace at all times.
Do you need a compliance professional for inspections?
If you need compliance advice pertaining to your lifting operations or if you require regulatory certification, give us a call to discuss your requirements. Call us on 01384 76961 or contact us by clicking this link. Our compliance experts are always ready to help you out.
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