Published December 8th, 2020
What is a LOLER Inspection?
A LOLER inspection is a scheduled evaluation of UK employers’ compliance to the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 (LOLER). Equipment used at work for lifting or lowering loads (cranes, industrial lift trucks, hoists) and accessories for attaching loads to machinery (slings, hooks, chains) are subject to LOLER inspections, including pre-use checks, weekly, monthly, or quarterly routine maintenance, and bi-annual or annual thorough examinations.
This article will briefly discuss the following:
- what is a LOLER checklist;
- LOLER inspection frequently asked questions (FAQs);
- how to perform a LOLER inspection in 5 simple steps;
- cost-efficient inspection solution to move beyond compliance; and
- free LOLER checklists you can download, customize, and use.
LOLER checklists are used by site managers, area supervisors, or other competent persons to ensure the reliability and safe use of lifting equipment, demonstrate workplace safety as an ethical responsibility, and build a safety culture from the ground up. UK employers should move beyond compliance with regulations by taking advantage of LOLER inspection checklists employees can use anytime, anywhere, and on any mobile device.
Is LOLER a legal requirement?
Yes. As published in the 2014 Health and Safety Executive (HSE) Approved Code of Practice, LOLER applies to every sector where work equipment is used for lifting and lowering loads. Any accessory for lifting—equipment used for attaching loads to machinery (for lifting)—is also covered by LOLER. The HSE enforces LOLER with local health and safety inspectors to ensure compliance with regulations, preventing hazards from using lifting equipment.
Can I perform a LOLER inspection?
Yes. LOLER inspections, specifically the annual or bi-annual thorough examinations, can be performed by a competent person who is selected by employers from their own staff members, but should not be the same person who performs routine maintenance. According to the HSE, conduct a LOLER inspection as long as you are able to detect defects or weaknesses, assess how important they are to the safety and continued use of the lifting equipment, and make objective decisions in relation to this.
What should I check during a LOLER inspection?
The competent person should validate the company’s compliance to the following Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations:
- Regulation 3 – Application
- Regulation 4 – Strength and Stability
- Regulation 5 – Lifting Equipment for Lifting Persons
- Regulation 6 – Positioning and Installation
- Regulation 7 – Marking of Lifting Equipment
- Regulation 8 – Organization of Lifting Operations
- Regulation 9 – Thorough Examination and Inspection
- Regulation 10 – Reports and Defects
- Regulation 11 – Keeping of Information
In 2019, two companies pleaded guilty for causing the death of a metal fabricator as they failed to properly plan and supervise their lifting operation. An HSE investigation found out that they did not recognize the risks involved nor have a safe system of work for the lift. UK employers should embrace workplace safety as an ethical responsibility, demonstrating how much they value their employees’ safety every day. To help you get started with lifting operations and lifting equipment inspections, here are 5 simple steps:
Use a LOLER Inspection Checklist
A LOLER inspection checklist contains exactly what you should look out for, especially for lifting equipment specifically designed for lifting people. Conducting a LOLER inspection using a checklist also helps in supporting your claims for a planned and supervised lifting operation.
Visually Inspect and Observe the Use of Lifting Equipment
You should specify the make, model, and serial number of the lifting equipment to be assessed. Determine if the lifting equipment is suitable for the task, safely accessible, and properly marked, positioned and installed. You may perform an overload test if overturning is a significant risk. Make sure that the lifting operation is carried out in a safe manner, especially if the load is being lifted by two or more lifting equipment simultaneously.
Report Defects and Unsafe Operations of Lifting Equipment
If lifting accessories used for securing the load is not compatible or if the lifting equipment operator is not adequately protected against the environment, document your observations in the LOLER inspection report and send a copy to the HSE or the local authority. The HSE stresses that if you fail to report a defect, simply because it has been remedied on the spot, your company is disguising a potentially dangerous situation.
Specify Corrective Actions and Follow Through
You must take action to rectify any defect, especially when it is serious and significant. Immediately take the lifting equipment out of service until the defect has been put right or replace it. A weekly LOLER check can help you maintain the reliability of your lifting equipment and extend its lifespan while keeping your employees safe.
Communicate Results and Keep LOLER Inspection Records
Since LOLER inspection reports can be electronically stored, sharing them with your staff can help them see areas of improvement and apply behavioral changes, especially if unsafe lifting operations have been observed. The management should review LOLER inspection records regularly, protect them from unauthorized alteration, and be able to provide copies when necessary.
Every workplace with lifting operations should move beyond compliance by using a cost-efficient inspection solution such as iAuditor. A UK-based construction company, committed to improving their safety culture, experienced how scheduled inspection completion rate went from 1% to 99%. Site Manager Simon Taylor shared,
“When the audits are complete, I can then look at analytics and review all the data. This is where we can begin to make business improvements.”
LOLER inspections are just the beginning. There is no need to spend more than you have to since your staff can perform LOLER inspections regularly. Easily demonstrate how you value your employees’ safety and build a safety culture from the ground up with iAuditor, the world’s leading inspection platform.
- Use LOLER checklists anytime, anywhere, and on any mobile device
- Take photos of lifting equipment defects and annotate images for improved visual reference
- Assign actions with a priority level and due date to rectify defects immediately
- Auto-generate and secure LOLER inspection reports in the cloud and access them from wherever you are
- Share lifting equipment inspection reports to key personnel with a tap of a finger
LOLER Checklists for the Safe Use of Lifting Equipment
LOLER Inspection Checklist
A LOLER inspection checklist is used to evaluate your company’s compliance to the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations (1998). Use this checklist to specify the details of the lifting equipment to be assessed, verify its strength and stability, and confirm proper positioning and installation. This LOLER inspection checklist also includes items for people lifting equipment, marking of lifting equipment, and organization of lifting operations. Finally, validate your processes for thorough examination and inspection, reports and defects, and keeping of information.
This LOLER checklist is used for the weekly visual inspection of lifting equipment such as coffin skips, brick forks, pallet trucks, mortar bins, and more. Use this LOLER checklist to indicate if inspection items such as the condition of wheel nuts, fuel cap, and handler arm is good, not good, or not applicable. Enable real-time reminders of scheduled inspections sent to your staff and ensure the safe use of lifting equipment every week.
Lifting Equipment Inspection Checklist
This lifting equipment inspection checklist is used to review serviceability of all lifting equipment on site, including the lifting equipment register, storage, and certification. Use this checklist to inspect lifting accessories such as chains, hooks, and thimbles and their fitting, end fitting, and attachments. Take photos of and assign an action for every defective equipment.
Lifting Equipment Safety Inspection Checklist
A lifting equipment safety inspection checklist is used to determine if lifting equipment in the storage area and cranes are compliant or noncompliant to safety standards. Use this checklist to also indicate if an inspection item is not applicable or if an issue has been corrected. For every noncompliance identified, provide the location and a description in the comments section. Add positive comments in your notes as well.
Lifting Gear Inspection Checklist
This lifting gear inspection checklist is used for the development and implementation of safe work procedures, conforming to the relevant Australian standards or other prescribed standards. Use this checklist to take photos of personal protective equipment (PPE), record safety notes, and identify common risks prior to use of lifting gear such as overloading of components, in-service failure, and damage to load. Ensure the safe use of lifting gear and complete the inspection with digital signatures to foster accountability.
Lifting Chain Inspection Checklist
A lifting chain inspection checklist is used by lifting equipment operators to check the overall condition of chains and follow precautions prior to use. Use this checklist to ensure that chains are clearly marked with the safe working load, safety latches on hooks are fully operable, hammer locks on chain assemblies are secure, and more.
Lifting Device Inspection Checklist
This lifting device inspection checklist is used to comply with the NORSOK (or ‘Norsk Sokkels Konkurranseposisjon’) standards developed by the Norwegian petroleum industry for the safe use of lifting equipment. Use this checklist to inspect the lifting and transportation scheme, verification, and documentation. Establish, maintain, and further develop an acceptable level of safety for personnel, the environment, and material assets in the planning and execution of lifting operations with this checklist.