Lifting Operations and Lifting Machinery Regulations 1998 (LOLER 98)

1.  Introduction

New Regulations, accompanied by an Approved Code of Practice and Guidance, have been introduced which impose new requirements for lifting equipment and lifting operations.  The definition of lifting equipment is considerably extended and a requirement for lifting operations to be supervised by a competent person is introduced.

LOLER 98, which came into effect on 5 December 1998, amend and revoke various pieces of legislation the most significant of which is the Construction (Lifting Operations) Regulations 1961 which is entirely revoked.

2.  Definitions

(a)  "Lifting equipment" means work equipment for lifting or lowering loads and includes attachments used for anchoring, fixing or supporting the equipment.  It includes a range of equipment from an eyebolt to a crane.

(b)  "Load" includes a person.

(c)  "Accessory for lifting" means equipment for attaching loads for lifting.

(d)  Examples of the types of lifting equipment and lifting operations covered include:

-  a passenger lift;

-  a rope and pulley used to raise a bucket of cement;

-  a dumb waiter;

-  a vehicle inspection hoist;

-  ropes used for climbing or work positioning during arboriculture or structural examination of a rock face or external structure of a building;

-  a front-end loader on a tractor used for raising and lowering loads such as a bale of hay;

-  a loader crane fitted to a lorry for delivery duties;

-  vehicle recovery equipment;

-  vehicle tail lifts.

3.  Key requirements

(a)  The primary requirements imposed by the Regulations are on an employer, but apply also to a self employed person in respect of lifting equipment used at work and to any person who has, to any extent, control of lifting equipment, the way in which lifting equipment is used, or to a person at work who uses, supervises or manages the use of lifting equipment.

(b)  Lifting equipment must be suitable for the purpose and of adequate strength and stability for each load and every part of the load.  Anything attached to the lifting equipment and used in lifting must be of adequate strength.

(c)  Where lifting equipment is used for lifting persons, it must be designed to prevent any persons using it being crushed, trapped, struck or falling from the carrier and so that any person trapped in the carrier is not exposed to danger and can be freed.  The Surveyor must ensure that there are adequate emergency warning devices in passenger lifts.  Departments must ensure that procedures exist to facilitate rescue by competent persons.

(d)  Lifting equipment must be positioned or installed in such a way as to reduce the risk of the equipment or the load striking a person, or of a load drifting, falling freely or being released unintentionally.

(e)  Machinery and accessories for lifting loads must be clearly marked to indicate their safe working loads and lifting equipment which is designed for lifting persons must be appropriately and clearly marked to this effect.  Lifting equipment not designed for lifting persons but which might be so used inadvertently, should be clearly marked that it is not designed for lifting persons.

(f)  Departments must ensure that every lifting operation involving lifting equipment is properly planned by a competent person, appropriately supervised and carried out in a safe manner by a competent person.

(g)  Departments must ensure that before lifting equipment is put into service for the first time it is thoroughly examined, unless either it has not been used before and has an EC declaration of conformity or, if it is obtained from the undertaking of another person, it is accompanied by physical evidence of its condition.  Physical evidence must be checked by the department before use of the equipment.

(h)  Where the safety of lifting equipment depends on the installation conditions, the lifting equipment must be thoroughly examined after installation and before being put into service and after assembly and before being put into service at a new site or a new location.

(i)  Lifting equipment which is exposed to conditions causing deterioration liable to result in dangerous situations must be thoroughly examined.  In the case of lifting equipment for lifting persons or an accessory for lifting this must be at least every six months; in the case of other lifting equipment at least every twelve months; or in either case in accordance with a scheme of examination.  A thorough examination also must be carried out each time that exceptional circumstances liable to jeopardise the safety of equipment have occurred.

(j)  Departments should liaise with the University's Insurance Section for appropriate thorough examinations (which may include tests) to be carried out by competent persons.  The competent persons are normally engineers employed by the University's insurance company.  Costs are borne centrally.

(k)  If appropriate, lifting equipment must be inspected by a competent person at suitable intervals between thorough examinations.  Inspections are required where the safe operation of the lifting equipment is dependant on its condition in use and deterioration (examples are effects such as the elements, the environment, frequency of use or probability of tampering) would lead to significant risks to the operator or other persons.

(l)  Departments must ensure that no lifting equipment leaves their undertaking or, if obtained from some other person, is used in their undertaking unless it is accompanied by physical evidence that the last thorough examination has been carried out.

(m)  Reports of thorough examinations must contain prescribed particulars and if the examiner discovers a defect which might present danger to persons, he must inform the employer forthwith and send a copy of his report to the enforcing authority.

(n)  Records of thorough examination of lifting equipment must be kept for reference purposes and normally for the life of the lifting equipment (or if the lifting equipment is only temporary, until it is moved elsewhere) except that reports under 3 i) above must be kept for three years.

4.  Action required by departments

(a)  Departments should identify lifting equipment and lifting operations.

(b)  Risk assessments under the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1992 of lifting equipment and lifting operations must be reviewed taking into account the definitions and key requirements above.

(c)  The persons responsible for keeping the records of thorough examinations must be identified in the risk assessments.


March 1999