Thorough Inspections And Services: Everything You Need To Know About Maintaining Your Equipment

Thorough inspections and services of your materials handling equipment is crucial for safety and efficiency. In this blog, you will learn why inspecting and servicing your equipment is so important.

What is a ‘thorough examination’ under LOLER?

A thorough examination under Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 (known as LOLER) is a detailed assessment of the equipment and accessories used by a company owning or operating lifting equipment. Such companies are legally obliged to use a ‘competent person’ to appropriately assess and report on safety during the inspection.

A competent person is experienced and has sufficient practical and theoretical knowledge regarding the functioning and operation of lifting equipment. LOLER examinations must be conducted at specified intervals and the competent person must complete a written report.

The LOLER Inspection Report must include the following:

  • The date of the examination.
  • The due date of the next examination.
  • Any defect found which poses a potential danger.

If any serious defects are found, the person conducting the examination must immediately report this verbally to the person responsible for the safe operation of the lift. This should then be followed up with a written report that must also be copied to the relevant enforcing authority.

When should thorough examinations be conducted?

Thorough examinations should be conducted over the lifetime of the equipment, to ensure safe use of the lifting equipment and any accompanying parts, and to promptly identify and remedy any wear and tear. The examinations should be conducted at several different intervals, including:

Before first-time use

All equipment must be examined by a competent person to guarantee safe and correct assembly. An exception can be made for equipment that has a recent (within the last 12 months) Declaration of Conformity, and equipment that was assembled before being brought on-site.

Post-assembly and pre-use at each destination

Any equipment requiring installation must be examined during assembly and at every location used.

At intervals whilst in service

Equipment must be regularly examined whilst it is in operation to maintain optimal safety. Wear and tear is expected when lifting equipment is put to regular use, so examinations can flag up any issues and provide the opportunity to remedy it before it presents a risk to safety or productivity.

Necessary following exceptional circumstances

If the equipment has been out of use for a long period of time, has been damaged, has had a failure of major changes, a thorough examination should be carried out to ensure the safety of the equipment is not jeopardised.

What is the specified interval for regular thorough examinations?

According to HSE, thorough examination should be conducted at regular intervals :

  • Every 6 months, for any lifting equipment and associated accessories used for lifting.
  • Every 6 months, for any lifting accessories.
  • Every 12 months, for all other types of lifting equipment.

Handling Concepts provides materials handling equipment such as industrial manipulators, vacuum lifters, cranes and below-the-hook lifting devices. Under LOLER this requires them to be thoroughly examined every 6 months.

What is covered by a thorough examination?

The thorough examination will vary depending on the expert judgement of the competent person conducting the inspection. However, there are some key aspects that must be covered to ensure standard regulation is met, and every element affecting the safety of operation is assessed properly.

For most lifting equipment and accessories, the industry-standard procedures, and criteria that a competent person would follow when conducting thorough examinations include:

  • Conducting visual and functionality examinations.
  • Assessing the wear of equipment.
  • Conducting non-destructive testing and load testing (only in specific cases).

The examination may require assessing internal aspects or disassembling parts.

Handling Concepts is your competent person

Handling Concepts is a market leading specialist in lifting and handling solutions and offers you a reliable equipment maintenance service that has been built over 25 years. By choosing a market-leading industry specialist, you can trust that highly skilled engineers will help to protect your valuable assets with high-quality spares packages and tailored service plans, ensuring your handling devices are maintained and kept in optimal condition.

You will invest in experienced and reliable engineering know-how to support you in your lifting and handling needs, take care of your processes, and significantly improve the health and safety of your workers. Your service plan, will ensure proactive support from a team that reminds you when your LOLER inspection is due, conducts the examination at a time to suit you and identifies any damage or parts fatigue promptly whilst conducting any required repairs quickly. You will also benefit from a critical spares package, providing you with parts on-site and ready-to-use if needed, helping you avoid the risk of lead time delay and production downtime.

For efficient handling solutions for your company, contact us today to learn more about Handling Concepts’ spares and service plans.

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