Passenger lifts and escalators
The UK has left the EU, and some rules and procedures have changed from 1 January 2021.
Lifts provided for use by workers in workplaces are subject to the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations (LOLER). However, in most cases lifting equipment which is not provided for, or used by, people at work (eg stair lifts in private dwellings and platform lifts in shops used for customer access) will not be subject to either LOLER or PUWER. But businesses providing this equipment will have responsibilities for its safety (it will require routine maintenance and inspection).
LOLER does not apply to escalators or any travellators / moving walkways which transport people, even though they may 'lift' people from one level to another. Such equipment is covered by regulation 19 of the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations.
However, escalators and similar machines, platform and stair lifts, and all conventional passenger lifts must meet the requirements for safety and conformity of either the Supply of Machinery (Safety) Regulations 2008 or Lift Regulations 2016 in their design, construction and installation, when first brought into use. (Note: stair lifts, certain slow moving platform lifts (less than 0.15 m/s) and construction hoists come within scope of the Supply of Machinery (Safety) Regulations instead of the Lift Regulations).
Passenger lifts used by people at work
Passenger lifts and combined goods / passenger lifts in workplaces (eg offices and factories) which are primarily used by people at work, are subject to periodic thorough examination and inspection, as required by LOLER and PUWER. Guidance for lift owners and others responsible for the examination and testing of lifts is available in: Thorough examination and testing of lifts: Simple guidance for lift owners.
Passenger lifts used by people who are not at work
LOLER (and PUWER) may not apply where a passenger lift is not used by people at work (eg in public areas of a shopping centre). However, if the lift is operated by - or to some extent under the control of - an employer or self-employed person in connection with their business, they still have some responsibility for the health and safety of people they don't employ. This includes members of the public who use the lift and those people who may work on or inspect the lift.
Section 3 of the Health and Safety at Work Act imposes these general responsibilities, so far as reasonably practicable. As the risks may be the same as when using lifts in connection with work, a similar regime of maintenance, inspection and examination to that required under LOLER and PUWER may be entirely 'reasonably practicable' in managing the risks. In any case, insurers may impose demands for similarly stringent levels of risk management to cover public liability.
Escalators and moving walkways
Guidelines for the safe operation of escalators and moving walks (walkways) have been prepared by the Safety Assessment Federation in consultation with HSE. This document provides considerable guidance on the duties and responsibilities of those who:
- manufacture, supply and install escalators and moving walkways
- design premises where they are to be installed
- own or manage premises in which they are installed, and
- inspect and examine escalators and moving walkways
Although not subject to LOLER, these detailed guidelines recommend thorough examination of escalators and moving walkways, normally at six-monthly intervals.
Where provided as work equipment for use by employees, stair lifts will be subject to the requirements of LOLER (thorough examination) and PUWER (maintenance and inspection). Where they are not, but are still provided in connection with an undertaking (eg in work environments where the public or visitors may use them), employers and the self-employed will have responsibilities for the safety of all users under Section 3 of the Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974. These may be adequately discharged by undertaking maintenance, and inspection, and 6 monthly thorough examination, even though PUWER & LOLER may not apply to the equipment.
However, all new stair lifts (either when first placed on the market, or first brought into use), as machinery are subject to the Supply of Machinery (Safety) Regulations 2008. They must be constructed to be safe, supplied with Instructions, a Declaration of Conformity, appropriate conformity marking and labelling. Those stair lifts which involve a hazard of falling from a vertical height of 3m or more are included within item 17 of Schedule 2 part 4 (Annex IV) of the Supply of Machinery (Safety) Regulations 2008 (so subject to conformity assessment as required by Regulations 11 or 12 as appropriate).
More information on LOLER can be found on the LOLER FAQ page.