Lifting equipment – thorough examinations required
The Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations (LOLER) 1998 aim to ensure that all lifting operations are properly planned, that lifting equipment is used safely and that, where necessary, lifting equipment is thoroughly examined at suitable intervals by a competent person.
This article highlights the need for examinations of lifting equipment along with the need for operator seat restraints to be fitted to such equipment where there is an increased risk of overturning.
- Equipment which lifts loads over or close to people (eg fork-lift trucks and foreloaders on tractors without adequate operator protection) should be thoroughly examined at 12-month intervals.
- Equipment used for lifting people (eg mobile platforms or lift-trucks with attachments) needs to be examined every 6 months.
New equipment that is CE marked does not need thorough examination until 12 months after it is first used.
If no one is at risk from failure of the lifting equipment then a thorough examination may not be required. But this decision can only be justified after carrying out a suitable risk assessment - the responsibility is on the operator or employer.
When lifting equipment does require a thorough examination, you will need to arrange for this to be carried out by a competent person. This will normally be an independent competent person from outside your business, such as an engineer who has the appropriate practical and theoretical knowledge and experience of the lifting equipment concerned to be able to detect defects or weaknesses.
When any lifting equipment which requires a thorough examination leaves or comes onto your farm or business, then a copy of its current thorough examination report should be available, eg if you hire a fork-lift for your own use or you lend yours to a neighbour.
A competent person making a thorough examination for you should notify you immediately of any defect which is or could become a danger to people. If you are notified of a defect you should ensure that the lifting equipment is not used before the defect is rectified or that it is rectified within the time specified in the competent person's report.
Operator seat restraints
Working with raised loads and attachments, especially on rough terrain or slopes, increases the risk of rollover and overturning. Operator seat restraints (seat belts or lap straps) will reduce the risk of injury if there is an overturn. They must be fitted to new and existing mobile equipment where there is a foreseeable risk of rollover and where the driver could be trapped between the roll frame or mast and the ground.
For further information, see: