Who can carry out a LOLER inspection?
Avoiding disruptive breakdowns and ensuring that your lifting equipment is safe and fault-free can be challenging. Under the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 (LOLER), all lifting equipment must be examined, inspected, and tested by a “competent person.” But what does this mean?
To understand fully what this means, it is necessary to examine the requirements of these inspections, examinations, and your legal requirements.
Why should your equipment be inspected and tested?
In 2019/20, 19% of non-fatal injuries in Great Britain were caused by handling, lifting, or carrying. In the workplace, by using materials handling equipment, you can protect your staff from these types of injuries. It is, of course, important that any devices you supply are properly maintained and are always fit for purpose. By law, lifting equipment and accessories require annual LOLER inspections. But the LOLER inspection will not necessarily identify all wear and tear and advise on preventive measures to ensure that the equipment works efficiently.
The LOLER regulations are there to help avoid potential issues relating safety. It covers equipment that has lifting risks, including anything that can raise or lower a load. There are 17 LOLER regulations that apply to all lifting equipment used in the workplace. The competent person who conducts a LOLER inspection should know what these are and be able to perform a thorough examination to ensure they are met.
If it is found that your lifting equipment fails a LOLER inspection, you will have to take the piece of equipment out of use and you will be reported to HSE, which could lead to prosecution. Failing to conduct LOLER inspections will lead to serious consequences. In 2016, GHA Coaches were prosecuted for failing to perform a thorough examination by a competent person. This breach resulted in a £90,000 fine. The fine reflects a necessary tough stance towards corporate breaches of health and safety legislation, but the true costs are likely to be much higher, not only the financial impact of legal fees and the fine itself. Failure to take steps to ensure staff safety will damage the company’s reputation and it shows a lack of care for staff which could affect employee morale and productivity.
In most cases, a thorough examination is not overly complicated or expensive to perform, but it is imperative that you are confident the competent person has the necessary skills to perform the task correctly and meet the requirements of LOLER regulations.
Who is considered a ‘competent person’ to complete LOLER inspections and thorough examinations?
The term ‘competent person’ is not defined in law, but the LOLER Approved Code of Practice and Guidance (paragraph 296 on competent persons) provides guidance on the qualities this person should have.
- Practical and theoretical knowledge and experience of the lifting equipment
- Able to detect defects or weaknesses and to assess their importance in relation to the safety and continued use of the lifting equipment
- Independent and impartial to ensure in-house examinations are made without fear or favour
- Should not be the same person who undertakes routine maintenance of the equipment so that they are not responsible for assessing their own work
It is the employer’s duty to ensure that it employs a suitably qualified competent person to conduct the thorough examination, therefore employers often engage LOLER inspection suppliers to carry out the task.
How to choose the right LOLER inspection supplier
Choosing the right LOLER inspection supplier is important. Many inspectors offer a basic service. They are often required by insurers, but the inspection also offers an opportunity to check for signs of fatigue and take preventative steps to ensure against potential breakdowns. A specialist handling equipment provider, like Handling Concepts, will offer a range of services that can help you keep your handling equipment in optimum condition to extend the life of the machine, ensure that it works safely, efficiently, productively and avoid the cost of unexpected disruption and call out fees.
Accreditations and Memberships
Start by finding an accredited, skilled materials handling supplier with a designated team of service engineers. Accreditations and memberships certify that the knowledge and competence of the supplier is fit to meet the requirements of LOLER.
When assessing suppliers, look for the following as reassurance that you are choosing well:
- ISO 9001
- Safe Contractor
Training and Qualifications
Knowledge and experience are developed over time but can be sped up where suppliers are committed to training and continuous professional development (CPD). Suppliers who offer LOLER inspection will ensure that engineers have specific training for the task, such as working at heights, risk assessments, slips, trips, and falls, and others. Leading accreditations will expect proof of CPD, will provide evidence that engineers are trained and qualified.
Experience and Services
By asking suppliers to detail the range of services they provide will help you establish their credentials and ability to perform the inspection professionally. You can ask a handling equipment specialist to verify the range of equipment they regularly inspect and to define the maintenance services they provide.
Look for a company with a wide range of services and considerable experience working across sectors with differing equipment. This will give you the confidence that they offer both practical and theoretical knowledge across a variety of types of lifting equipment. Standard insurance providers cannot always offer the depth of service that you may need. So, if you are looking for a supplier who can shoulder the full burden of maintaining your equipment, consider the outcome that you need for your company rather than simply seeking a tick in the box for LOLER.
Keeping safe and legally compliant
Having a clear understanding of your legal requirements and the additional benefits of regular examinations and services of your lifting equipment will help you select the best supplier for your LOLER inspection. It is important that no matter which supplier you choose; you feel confident and assured they are competent to maintain your equipment and remain legally compliant.
Regular thorough examinations and LOLER inspections will give you the confidence to trust that your lifting equipment and accessories are safe to use, efficiently running and will help you avoid the disruption caused by machine breakdowns.
Why choose Handling Concepts as your LOLER inspection supplier?
With Handling Concepts, you will work with professionals who have many years of experience in performing LOLER inspections, preventative maintenance, and repairs. Accredited by Safe Contractor and ISO 9001, the company is committed to continuous staff development and improvement and the team has a wealth of knowledge working with many types of lifting equipment to help you maintain lifting asset regardless of who supplied them
The range of services will be tailored to your needs, including:
- Providing the right kind of materials handling equipment to suit your needs
- Bespoke manufacturing solution planning
- Full installation services
- Machine inspections and maintenance services
- Continued post-project support
- Sales of critical spares packages
- Equipment training help
A comprehensive selection of services is available to you to help you boost productivity, avoid downtime, and remain compliant with health and safety legislation. You can depend on a reputable supplier to help you solve your manual handling problems.
As well as conducting routine LOLER inspections, your urgent breakdown calls will also be responded to swiftly. You can benefit from over 25 years in the materials handling equipment space, and a genuine understanding of just how disruptive equipment issues can be for you. You can take advantage of affordable, long-lasting solutions offered to help you avoid future downtime and protect profits.
You can rely on all breakdown solutions being dealt with thoroughly and as quickly as possible. You can have critical spares packages designed to aid your ongoing maintenance plans. You will have full dedicated support.
Book a service plan today
If you require a LOLER inspection for your materials handling equipment, you can book a service plan today. The maintenance of your equipment can be taken out of your hands so you can be confident your business is efficient, and your workers are safe.