LOLER is an integral part of keeping employees safe in the workplace. As a key component of the UK government’s Health and Safety at Work Act, it regulates the use of lifting equipment.
As a result, it also protects employers from hefty consequences, so long as they follow the rules. There are several scenarios in the logistics sector where lifting equipment may be used and if safety policies are not adhered to, serious incidents can take place.
In this article provided to us by P. Airey Tail Lifts, they will describe the ins and outs of LOLER, covering what the regulations are and how it affects employers within the logistics industry.
P. Airey Tail Lifts is a North West company that deals with tail lifts. They have plenty of experience in providing commercial businesses with a range of services including new tail lift sales and tail lift repairs. One of the most important services that they offer are LOLER inspections. Therefore, there’s no better company to talk about this area of workplace health and safety.
What Is LOLER?
The Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations, often abbreviated as ‘LOLER’, were introduced to the Healthy at Safety at Work Act in 1998. The UK government introduced the regulations to further improve the safety of employees within the workplace.
More specifically, the regulations were introduced to reduce the number of workplace accidents involving lifting equipment. LOLER can apply to any industry, including the logistics industry, where lifting equipment is required. For example, cranes, pallet trucks, forklifts and tail lift devices are all regulated by LOLER. It would also cover any cables and attachments that may be used in conjunction with the equipment.
The regulations provide strict policies on how lifting equipment is used and maintained and it’s essential that employers comply to keep their workplace safe and prevent any unnecessary yet serious accidents.
How Is LOLER Regulated?
The rules of LOLER can vary depending on the sector and the type of equipment, but in summary, it defines a set of responsibilities. These responsibilities outline various ways in which employees and their employers must keep themselves and their colleagues safe and secure.
First of all, one of the most critical elements is that lifting equipment should be fit for purpose. This means that it must be well maintained and appropriate for the intended lifting purposes. The equipment must be strong and stable enough to carry the intended weight, and safe working loads should be clearly visible on the equipment.
Away from the equipment itself, lifting operations will need to be thoughtfully planned in advance and if required, supervised by a competent person. The only person allowed to perform the operation is someone who is competent based on their skills, training and experience with the equipment.
One of the most important parts of these regulations is the enforcement of regular inspections. As part of the law, LOLER inspections are required at regular intervals. The timing may vary depending on factors such as the type of equipment, but it can range from every 6 to 12 months. When an inspection is carried out, it must be done by a competent person.
They will examine the equipment to establish that it is suitable for the job and whether lifting operations are carefully planned. They will also make sure that the operation is performed safely and correctly by a competent and qualified person. Regular inspections make sure that the workplace is safe and prevent serious complications should an accident occur as a result of not following the regulations.
Why LOLER Is Relevant to the Logistics Industry
The logistics industry is without a doubt one of the key industries that is closely associated with LOLER at all times. This sector often involves using lifting equipment to load and unload vehicles. Examples of where this may apply include bin lorries when emptying bin contents on collection days, or commercial vans that are used to transport goods from place to place.
Other complex scenarios can include skip loaders, Hookloader trucks and vehicles transporting large containers. There are some regulations that apply here more than other industries. For instance, businesses will have to take into account the hazards of moving heavy items from one environment to another, as opposed to a controlled working environment. Blind spots and the threat to the general public are two potential hazards to consider here.
Ultimately, these regulations are in place to keep everyone safe. In most cases, that will involve operators and other employees in the vicinity, but in other cases, it can involve customers and the public.
If a business fails to follow LOLER, then they can receive very serious consequences. Accidents can cause serious injury to people and this in itself can bring negative reputation to your business. However, if you are prospected, then you can face heavy fines and even imprisonment for the most extreme cases.