In the UK there are a series of rules in place to prevent serious accidents from taking place at the workplace. Some environments are more dangerous than others, especially if equipment and machinery is used for heavy lifting purposes. For jobs that require heavy lifting, there are strict regulations in place to prevent accidents. The rules are a legal obligation called the Lifting Operations & Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998, also known as LOLER.
P. Airey Tail Lifts is a North West-based company which specialises in ensuring commercial vehicles meet the regulations. In this article they will explain the industries affected by the regulations and why LOLER inspections should be completed regularly.
What Industries Are Impacted by LOLER?
LOLER is an essential piece of legislation brought in by the government to reduce the amount of heavy lifting-related accidents taking place in the workplace. Without these regulations, employers and their staff would be able to continue working in a reckless and unsupervised manner. LOLER requires that lifting equipment is safe to use and up to the standard required, and that personnel have been trained to use the equipment in a safe and appropriate way. The regulations provide involved parties with clear responsibilities. Failing to comply can lead to severe consequences such as heavy fines and suspensions. In extreme incidents where serious injuries or even deaths have occurred, prison sentences have been handed out to those held accountable.
Due to the nature of the regulations and their expansive rules, LOLER can practically affect any business and industry. Even in a standard office environment you may come across a time when heavy lifting is required for your job function. However, there are certain industries where LOLER is more important and widespread, especially industrial workplaces.
One of the most obvious industries affected by LOLER is the construction industry. Construction environments are naturally dangerous as they are. Building and repairing properties are complex projects where safety can be an issue. In workplaces such as these, it’s critical for the safety of everyone that workers receive the necessary training and safety gear. As for LOLER specifically, nearly every construction project will typically involve heavy lifting. Forklift trucks may be used to move objects, vans will load and unload materials, and specialist equipment such as cranes excavators may be involved. Under LOLER, the personnel and equipment are regulated. A critical part of how LOLER is managed is via regular LOLER inspections. These inspections will be carried out every 6-12 months by a qualified inspector to assess whether the rules are being met or not.
Another industry affected by LOLER is the agriculture industry. This industry is involved in the process of raising farm animals and growing crops. In this example, equipment such as tractors, fertiliser spreaders and hoists are used. The healthcare industry is another example where LOLER may come into play. For instance, hoists may be required to move bedridden patients or elderly people from a bed to another object for transportation. In fact, one of the widely reported stories of the regulations being broken involved a nursing home. An elderly woman died after falling while being lifted from her bed, resulting in a £18,000 fine for the nursing home.