A Brief Overview of LOLER

Lifting operations are associated with risks of injury and when they are handled in an inappropriate manner, they can invite additional costs to the company or people who are accountable for operational success and safety. To promote safe and efficient management of lifting operations, the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations (LOLER) were enacted in 1998. These regulations apply to companies or people who own, operate, and supervise the upkeep of lifting equipment. Generally, employers are also required to abide by the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations (PUWER), which lays down the things that employers need to do to protect their employees in the workplace and as a matter of fact, proper upkeep of lifting equipment is one of those requirements.

The regulations require a competent individual to plan, handle, and supervise lifting equipment and lifting operations in an appropriate and safe manner. The LOLER also specifies that the lifting equipment should be fit for the purpose and it should be appropriately marked with maintenance and defect-related data being recorded in an accurate manner. The regulations apply to the operation of any equipment that is used in the worksite. However there are certain categories of equipment which are used in lifting, but are not considered as lifting equipment and hence, they are not subject to the provisions of LOLER. The use and upkeep of such instruments, including platform lifts, escalators, and stair lifts, is governed by PUWER.

Notably, the Section 3 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 specifies that employers as well as the self-employed are liable to ensure the safety of people who are not employed by them, but are most likely to be affected by their operations in some way. Therefore, businesses that permit the public to use lifting equipment are responsible for equipment maintenance and risk management and are required to abide by the strict terms and conditions of the LOLER and PUWER.

LOLER has also specified guidelines on the selection of the right lifting equipment. Employers need to make sure that all lifting equipment is installed in such a way that it reduces the risk of injuries which may arise when a load is unintentionally released or when a load falls freely or strikes a person. In addition, all lifting equipment and accessories need to indicate the safe working loads (SWL) that they can lift safely. In some cases, the SWL of an equipment or accessory may depend on its configuration and so the SWL information must disclose all configurations and the corresponding load capacities. Accessories should also bear indications to reflect the parameters that may affect their safe use. When lifting operations involve the lifting of people, employers need to hire specialists who can handle operations safely.

Planning lifting operations is crucial to ensuring operational safety. This will require staff to practise prudence and foresee risks before they translate into incidents. This can be managed through appropriate allocation of resources including human resources. The planning process may typically involve an attention-to-detail approach on a number of criteria including pre-use checking, overload, proximity hazards, environment, visibility, attaching and detaching loads, and equipment re-use. Simply put, the plan needs to clearly state the actions that may be needed at each step as well as the responsibilities that are allocated to personnel.

If you have any LOLER and PUWER Crane Servicing inspection requirements there are a huge number of companies all over the world who will undertake the inspection or service required to ensure that your company and equipment stay compliant while your employees and workers stay safe. Simply take a quick google search for those types of companies in your local area.

Inspection tips for your full-body harness

With falls being the leading cause of death in construction sites and in work sites where people are required to operate at elevations, employers should make sure that they adopt appropriate safety measures to minimise incidents. Besides keeping other safety measures, such as guardrails or safety nets, in place, employers should make sure that their workers are equipped with full-body harnesses that form an integral part of fall protection system. The successful use of fall protection systems are largely dependent on workers’ ability to appropriately inspect and use the equipment and hence, employers should make sure that they provide the necessary training to their workers.

A safety harness should be inspected before use as every harness comes with its own wearable life that may vary depending on the number of times it is used and the conditions that it has been subjected to. A harness may show noticeable signs of damage and it is a good idea to replace it with a new harness to eliminate mishap possibilities. As a matter of fact, harnesses need to be inspected frequently by a competent person who can detect corrosions and suggest suitable actions.

If you are responsible for inspecting full-body harnesses, you may consider the following tips to determine if a harness can be used further:

  • The grommets are subjected to heavy wear because of recurrent buckling or unbuckling. Loose or broken grommets are warning signs that may call for a replacement decision.
  • Inspect for cracked, distorted or broken D-rings besides inspecting the D-ring back pads. The D-ring, if it is good health, is expected to spool easily.
  • Check if the outer and the center bars of the friction and mating buckles appear to be straight. Inspect for distortion at the attachment points of the center bar.
  • Create an inverted U with the webbing. Check if you are able to spot cuts, broken fibers, burns, chemical damage, or pulled stitches. Check on both the sides, throughout the length of the webbing. Closely inspect the paint and solvents in the webbing and rope. Some varieties of paints contain solvents and drying agents that may induce chemical damage or restrict the movement of fibers.
  • Closely inspect the attaching buckles. Check for cut fibers, distortions or any abnormal wear.

Harnesses come in different styles and hence, you should always read the instructions to understand how they can be used in the right way.

Lifting Gear Safety

It is important to always consider safety when using lifting equipment, when performing a heavy lift one should always perform a risk assessment before actually making a lift. Should you not be familiar with this your local rigging company should be able to assist you and advise you accordingly, obviously this can come at a price.

When working at height weather on a large rig or when using lifting gear one should always use height safety equipment to ensure total fall protection, there are lots and lots of companies out there that you can search for on the internet or even locally that offer everything you need in terms of Lifting Gear Safety.

Electric Chain Hoists with Radio Control

ImageStandardly an Electric Chain Hoist is operated by a hard-wired low voltage pendant control, but like with all things, there are levels and one of the optional extras is “Radio Control”.

Radio control is principally like operating your TV except for your TV operates over Inferred and an Electric Chain Hoist with Radio Control operated over radio frequency; a stronger and most reliable signal that can be operated from a further distance.

Radio control enables the operator to stand at a safe distance from the load when operating the hoist also giving them a better view and angle of the load when hoisting in to place or loading/unloading a truck or delivery. Radio remote control is often required as standard in applications like gas and nuclear where being close to the load is considered a danger there for it is essential to have radio control with all electric chain hoists. http://electricchainhoists.co.uk/

Lifting Equipment Inspection

Inspection of any load rated Lifting Equipment is vital and should be undertaken between every 3-12 months depending upon the intensity of usage. Failure to inspect and certify lifting gear regularly by a qualified LOLER inspection body can result in your company not being covered by insurance in the event that the item involved was neglected from an inspection.

Should the unspeakable happen, the company involved may be sued or fined heavily, this can also negatively impact on the persons involved in organising the inspections and maintenance.

Inspection is very important as a qualified engineer that has competent inspection skills will easily identify any abnormalities very quickly and efficiently while understanding the implications that the abnormality can cause. Much like a doctor for lifting gear the inspector can assess the required issue and recommend the steps to take in order to correct the problem, this may be just a minor replacement part such as a safety catch or something more complex that would require the company the scrap the item and replace it if the cost of repair is close to or outweighs a new item. Intense usage demands reliable products and requires more frequent inspection and replacement of spare parts or a total new item.

Engine Cranes- How Do They Work?

Most commonly used in the automotive industry Engine Cranes were designed to lift, transport and lower engines with a hydraulic boom while being supported by a set of sturdy legs that feature wheels fitted for ease of transport once the engine had been removed from the bay.

Firstly the engine should be freed from any securing bolts and screws, then it should be rigged up using an engine sling, the crane can then be brought in with the stand wheeled under the load (under the car) the crane boom can be lowered using the handle that operates the hydraulic ram.

Once lowered the chain sling should be connected to the crane hook, the engine can now be raised using the handle that operates the hydraulic ram, pumping the handle raises the load, once clear of the engine bay the load can be transported and worked on.

For safety reasons the crane boom can only operate in an vertical operation, this is why the sturdy legs are positioned under the load to prevent the Engine Crane from tipping over when lifting or transporting.

Lifting Equipment Safety Procedures

Safety is always the highest priority when executing a heavy lift. Without correct risk assessment surrounding people maybe at high risk to a heavy load accidentally dropping on their head!

Generally speaking lifting equipment should be inspected every 6-12 months (different products require different inspection intervals) by a qualified lifting inspection officer/company. Gear should also be inspected for wear and tear or damage deeper than the surface, this should be done by the user before each lift.

Most companies that use lifting equipment these days have a system for storing test certificates or certificates of conformity. These are required for each item of lifting equipment by law. It shows that the item has been tested or inspected to the relevant standards with any noted defects listed. In the event of an accident this will become a valuable document, without one you run big risks. Each item of lifting gear will feature a serial number that will tie in with the certificate, copies are also usually held by manufacturers and can be traced using the serial number.

Lifting Equipment inspection has become a growing topic in todays market as health and safety laws are tightened and risk is reduced companies are treating inspection and maintenance very seriously in order to secure the safety of their employees.

For more information on Lifting Equipment and inspection please visit Lifting Equipment Store.