“Why LOLER Is Especially Important in the Construction Industry“
If you work in the construction industry, then you will be aware of the various health and safety hazards that are ever present. It doesn’t matter how small or large a construction project is, it’s essential that steps are taken to safeguard the health of anyone within the area. Parts of this are regulated under the Health and Safety at Work Act and a sub-section of this comes under what is called LOLER.
When it comes to LOLER, these are few companies with more extensive knowledge of the regulations than P. Airey Tail Lifts. Based in the North West of England, P. Airey is a sales and repairs business that specialises in commercial tail lifts. Due to the health and safety aspects of tail lifts, and especially their role in the workplace, P. Airey offer a service dedicated to LOLER inspections.
P. Airey have provided us with this article explaining what LOLER is, why it’s important, and how it affects the construction industry.
A Summary of What LOLER Is & Why It’s Important
LOLER is short for the ‘Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations’ that were put in place by the UK government in 1998. The government added these regulations to the Health and Safety at Work Act to help reduce the number of lifting-related accidents happening in working environments as well as to limit the seriousness of injuries that may occur as a result of an accident.
The LOLER regulations apply where lifting equipment may be used to complete a task in a workplace. Such equipment can include forklift trucks, cranes, ropes, hooks, and any attachments that may be used to support the equipment. Under LOLER, there are a series of responsibilities that will be placed on employers and employees. In short, the responsibilities are there to ensure that equipment is fit for purpose and is used in a safe and correct way as intended. It states that the equipment must be strong and stable, that safe working loads are clearly displayed and accurate, and that only a competent person will operate the equipment. It also makes clear that any lifting operation must be thoughtfully planned and supervised.
If the lifting equipment is up to the required standards and is used safely, then chances of accidents happening are far less likely. Accidents may not only cause a serious injury or even death but will create financial issues for your business and a negative reputation. Under LOLER, serious punishment can be dished out for failing to follow the regulations, including fines and imprisonment.
A key aspect of these regulations is that inspections must be performed regularly. LOLER inspections are a legal requirement and a critical component is assessing whether the regulations are being followed. How regular an inspection is required depends on various factors, but typically it’s every 6 or 12 months. When an inspection is carried out, a qualified and competent person will assess the equipment and confirm whether it is in good working condition. They will also assess whether the safe working load is clearly visible and examine how the equipment is being operated.
How LOLER Affects Construction Businesses
The construction industry is perhaps one of the more obvious industries where LOLER applies and a common example of why the regulations are required. The complex nature of this industry means that health and safety is paramount. Any business involved in a construction project must consider the safety of employees on-site and the general public around the area. Hazards here can include everything from slips and falls to moving objects, airborne materials, and loud noises.
In construction, there are clearly several instances where LOLER may come into effect. Lifting equipment will, in most cases, nearly always be required to complete the task at hand. In the most extreme cases, large cranes will be required to move objects into place. Forklift trucks may be used to move materials over short distances while lifts may also be in use to transport personnel and items from one level to another. Even smaller situations may involve lifting equipment, such as loading and unloading items from the back of a truck with the help of a tail lift. As all of these scenarios involve the use of lifting equipment in a workplace environment, be it for materials or personnel, LOLER would apply. In following LOLER, businesses can avoid serious accidents that could arise due to issues such as poor and inadequate equipment or incompetent operators.