Lifting Equipment Inspections – The Importance

All forms of lifting equipment which is used regularly, must be checked over by a certified individual at frequent intervals, this is due to the nature of the work that lifting gear endures.  You must also check over all apparatus prior to every process to spot possible problems early on. Through adopting these simple practices, the risk of something going wrong is much reduced.

In 1998 The Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations (commonly referred to as L.O.L.E.R) evolved into a legal requirement, with its purpose to reduce any potential health and safety hazards that could take place when utilizing any type of lifting equipment in the place of work.

The lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations are specifically designed for all varieties of lifting equipment and applications, however there are an extra set of rules that also need to be followed; these are set out by The Provision and Use of Work Equipment regulations (P.U.W.E.R.) and refer to all kinds of equipment utilised in the place of work. Very briefly these regulations say that the employer is accountable for undertaking risk assessments, making sure that equipment is installed and maintained appropriately, and in addition to ensure that they remain in good, safe operational order, (i.e. by means of servicing and inspections).

With regards to Lifting operations and lifting equipment regulations the policy refer to three standards, 1: the lifting gear, for example; a hoist or gantry; 2: Lifting accessories, for example; shackles, slings and eye bolts; 3: The lifting application, which refers to the actual lifting, lowering and moving the load. 3 categories within these standards state you must 1: Make sure the lifting gear is safe to use; 2: Make sure it is utilised in a safe manner; 3: make sure it remains safe to use (i.e. inspect, maintain, repair).

To guarantee all lifting gear adheres to the last category, lifting gear must be professionally inspected at yearly intervals; lifting accessories and equipment that is used to lift people should be professionally inspected at 6 monthly intervals. Furthermore suppliers must ensure any hazards that may be associated to the gear are removed or reduced to satisfactory levels; this is shown by the CE mark and EC declaration of conformity. Furthermore guidelines for the safe use of the equipment should be issued and the employer must ensure their adopted and the equipment is utilised correctly. All records of inspections, declarations of conformity and testing must be retained by the employer.

Any business that employs lifting equipment of any kind is duty-bound by the L.O.L.E.R. regulations which are enforced by health and safety officers. If these regulations are not met you are given a specific timeframe to rectify the problem, if serious though, a lot firmer action might be taken.

Next are several important guidelines to help you keep to the regulations.

One of the most essential factors to have a look at is whether…

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