How to Keep Your Handling Equipment Safe, Efficient and Legal
Lifting and handling in the workplace increases the risk of accident and injury. The operational impact of this can be costly because of sickness, potential litigation, damage to products or production delays due to loss of time.
To reduce these risks, it is important to ensure that you comply with safety regulations.
To help you understand how to keep your workforce safe and your businesses legally compliant, Handling Concepts has created this guide.
Become Familiar with PUWER and LOLER
PUWER and LOLER are often referred to together because they overlap. Whilst both regulations apply to workplace equipment, LOLER only applies to lifting equipment, and PUWER applies to all equipment.
If you have a piece of handling equipment in your workplace, you will need to comply with both PUWER and LOLER.
Understanding the differences between PUWER and LOLER is important and will help you ensure that your handling equipment safe, efficient, and legal. Handling Concepts has a dedicated blog article that explains the differences to help you become familiar with them. You can read it here.
What Happens If You Are Not Legally Complaint?
HSE inspectors do not have to give notice when visiting work premises. They can arrive at any time and are entitled to talk to employees, take samples, photographs and seize dangerous equipment.
After an inspection by HSE, a coach company in Wrexham was found to have 11 pieces of equipment in need of inspection. They were given notice in 2011 to resolve the situation. Despite an extension at this time, the company still failed to comply and had to plead guilty in court in 2015 to breaching the LOLER regulations. As a result, they were fined £250,000.
In 2012, a crane collapse at a company in Brixton tragically resulted in the death of two people. Two men were working inside the basket of a raised platform. During the operation, a section of the main boom buckled, dropping the men 28ft to the ground. It was found that the equipment had been repaired several years before but had failed to be inspected properly. The manager of the firm responsible for the equipment was found guilty of breaching LOLER legislation and sentenced to two years in prison.
Remove The Burden of Maintaining Your Equipment
The consequences of failing to meet your legal obligations and neglecting the necessary maintenance of your materials handling equipment can have a high impact on safety and efficiency of your business and put you in legal jeopardy.
Provide Staff Training
The Health & Safety at Work Act 1974 is a fundamental piece of legislation that covers health and safety across the workplace in the UK. The act places a duty on all employers ‘to ensure, as far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare at work of all employees. It applies to all work premises and parts of the act are directly associated with handling equipment:
Safe use, maintenance, and repair of working machinery, systems, and environment
This places a legal requirement on you to ensure that your handling equipment is safe to use, maintained and repaired. This overlaps the LOLER legislation, and by scheduling routine services and six monthly LOLER inspections will mean that you are easily compliant.
Staff training to ensure everyone remains safe and healthy
You can show that you are following best practice for health and safety by training your staff well to be skilled to use the lifting equipment that you provide. It is the best interest of your staff, will ensure compliance with your legal obligations and minimise the risk of misuse that may lead to accident or injury. Your materials handling equipment supplier should provide onsite training for your staff after installation of new lifting equipment and offer support when new staff are employed.
Be Aware of Cutting Costs
Materials handling equipment can require a high initial investment and you may be tempted to reduce costs by neglecting necessary maintenance, servicing, and repairs. This is counter-productive because when a piece of lifting equipment breaks through damage or wear and tear, replacement parts can be on long lead times and waiting with a machine out of action is likely to cause production delays which, in the long run has a detrimental financial impact.
In order to ensure that you reduce the risk of breakdown, it is advised to budget maintenance costs with the initial investment. Your materials handling equipment supplier can quote you for a service plan that will provide preventative maintenance and LOLER and PUWER certification. They will recommend the intervals that your lifting equipment should be inspected and remind you when it is due.
Founded in 1994, Handling Concepts has been designing and manufacturing handling equipment for over 25 years. You can rely on this experience to ensure that your equipment that is safe and compliant.
To remove the burden of maintaining your equipment, keep your staff safe, your operations efficient and you and your business legally compliant, you can benefit from Handling Concepts’ service plans and critical spares packages. Click the button below to learn more about what to expect from this service.
If you require a LOLER inspection for your material handling equipment, you can book a service plan today. You can confidently place the burden of maintaining your equipment with us to keep your workers safe, efficient, and you are legally compliant.