What Does LOLER Stand For?

Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998


In health and safety, LOLER stands for the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations. This is a set of legal requirements surrounding lifting operations and the equipment used to carry them out. These regulations are often referred to as LOLER for short. But what is LOLER?

In health and safety, what does LOLER stand for? LOLER stands for the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations, a set of legal requirements surrounding lifting operations and equipment. These regulations are often referred to as LOLER for short. But what is LOLER?

At work, there are many health and safety abbreviations to understand. One you may have heard is LOLER, especially if you are involved in lifting work.

LOLER stands for the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations. Since the regulations are a bit of a mouthful, they are often referred to as LOLER for short.

As the name suggests, the regulations are legal requirements surrounding lifting operations and the equipment used to carry them out.

But what is LOLER, and why do you need to know about it?

What is LOLER?

LOLER is a set of legal requirements. The Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations are not just a guide; they are the law.

If you need to lift materials or other items on a construction site or in a fixed location, you must know about LOLER. Every lifting operation at work must comply with LOLER.

You need to know and do several things to comply with the regulations and ensure that your lifting is legal.

Who does LOLER apply to?

What Does LOLER Stand For? The regulations apply in Great Britain to any employer, self-employed person, and anyone in control of lifting equipment or operations to any extent.

LOLER applies to any business carrying out lifting operations, which are common in:

  • Construction
  • Warehouses
  • Factories
  • Manufacturing
  • Logistics

What does LOLER cover?

As the name suggests, LOLER covers both lifting operations and lifting equipment.

LOLER covers the lifting of any load with the use of lifting equipment, such as:

  • Sacks and bags
  • Pallets
  • Stacked materials
  • Loose materials
  • Items
  • Machinery
  • Skips
  • People
  • Animals

What does LOLER say about lifting operations?

Regulation 8(2) of LOLER defines a lifting operation as “… an operation concerned with the lifting or lowering a load”.

“load” is the item or items being lifted. This load could be materials, equipment, or even a person or people.

LOLER requires that all lifting operations be planned and supervised by a competent person and carried out safely.

To do this, you must ensure that every lifting operation involving lifting equipment is:

  • Planned adequately by a competent person
  • Appropriately supervised
  • Carried out in a safe manner

Lifting operations can put people at an increased risk of injury. If a heavy load slips or drops onto a person, the results can be severe and sometimes fatal.

Properly planning and organizing a lift is important to avoid an accident that could damage people, materials, equipment, and structures.

What equipment is covered by LOLER?

What Does LOLER Stand For? Planning, supervising and controlling lifting operations is one part of making them safe. The other piece of the puzzle is the lifting equipment itself.

A lift can never be safe if the equipment is unsuitable or faulty, even if you plan and supervise it. The equipment used needs to be safe and appropriate for the lifting operation.

“lifting equipment” means work equipment for lifting or lowering loads and includes its attachments used for anchoring, fixing or supporting it;The Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 Interpretation

The regulations define lifting equipment as any equipment that lifts or lowers loads. However, it also includes attachments, anchors, fixings, and supports.

Examples of lifting equipment covered by LOLER include:

  • Fixed cranes
  • Mobile cranes
  • Hoists
  • Passenger lifts
  • Goods lifts
  • Vehicle lifts
  • Telehandlers
  • Forklifts
  • Cleaning and maintenance cradles
  • Winches
  • Lifting jacks

As you can see, LOLER covers a wide variety of equipment used at work. If the equipment is used to lift or lower any type of load, it is lifting equipment.

What does LOLER require for lifting equipment?

To comply with LOLER, you need to consider several factors, including:

  • Strength
  • Stability
  • Marking
  • Positioning
  • Installation
  • Examination
  • Defects

LOLER requires that the equipment you use is fit for purpose, suitable for the task and correctly marked.

Because equipment can become damaged during use and storage, you can only really know if the equipment is fit for purpose by regularly inspecting it. So, the regulations also require a statutory periodic ‘thorough examination’ (testing and inspection).

Thorough examinations of lifting equipment must be conducted every six months for equipment used by lifting persons or accessories and at least every 12 months for other equipment.

And remember that lifting equipment also includes fixings, supports, and anchor points. So when assessing equipment suitability, you also need to consider the accessories used. This could include slings, chains, hooks, eyebolts and other attachments.

What Does LOLER Stand For? Lifting equipment, including accessories, needs to be strong and stable to support the load. It will never be suitable for all loads or sizes.

If you try to overload lifting equipment, it could fail. All lifting equipment will have a safe working load (SWL), the maximum weight it can safely lift.

LOLER requires all lifting equipment (machinery and accessories) to be marked to show its safe working load. You should check all lifting equipment for safe working loads and always stay within the limits.

Lifting accessories also add weight to the load and must be considered for the total safe working load.

No lifting equipment should be used unless it is marked with its safe working load and has physical evidence of the last examination.

This article was written by Mathew Oldham (HSQE Consultancy Ltd). Mathew has over 20 years of experience in health and safety and an MSc (Hons) in Construction Management. Mathew is NEBOSH Health and Safety, Construction, Fire, Environment and Diploma qualified and CertIOSH.

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