Employee Login Button
View our ecatalogue
The real deal
Safelift Pro

Dedicated repair & maintenance team
Same day hire service
Can't find what your looking for?

Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998


This guide provides information about the legal requirements of the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 (LOLER) which came
into force on 5 December 1998. It gives a general indication of some of the main requirements of the Regulations.

However, it is important that you refer to the Regulations and accompanying Approved Code of Practice to familiarise yourself fully with your duties.

What is LOLER?

In the main, LOLER replaced existing legal requirements relating to the use of lifting equipment, for example the Construction (Lifting Operations) Regulations 1961, the Docks Regulations 1988 and the Lifting Plant and Equipment (Records of Test and Examination etc) Regulations 1992.

Many aspects of LOLER should therefore be familiar to you.

The Regulations aim to reduce risks to people’s health and safety from lifting equipment provided for use at work. In addition to the requirements of LOLER, lifting equipment is also subject to the requirements of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER).

What does LOLER do?

Generally, the Regulations require that lifting equipment provided for use at work is:

  • strong and stable enough for the particular use and marked to indicate safeworking loads;
  • positioned and installed to minimise any risks;
  • used safely, ie the work is planned, organised and performed by competentpeople; and
  • subject to ongoing thorough examination and, where appropriate, inspection by competent people.

What equipment is covered by the Regulations?

Lifting equipment includes any equipment used at work for lifting or lowering loads, including attachments used for anchoring, fixing or supporting it.

The Regulations cover a wide range of equipment including, cranes, fork-lift trucks, lifts, hoists, mobile elevating work platforms, and vehicle inspection platform hoists. The definition also includes lifting accessories such as chains, slings, eyebolts etc.

LOLER does not apply to escalators, these are covered by more specific legislation, ie the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992. If you allow employees to provide their own lifting equipment, then this too is covered by the Regulations.

Do the Regulations apply to me?

If you are an employer or self-employed person providing lifting equipment for use at work, or you have control of the use of lifting equipment, then the Regulations will apply to you. They do not apply if you provide equipment to be used primarily by members of the public, for example lifts in a shopping centre. However, such circumstances are covered by the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 (HSW Act).

While your employees do not have duties under LOLER, they do have general duties under the HSW Act and the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 (MHSWR), for example to take reasonable care of themselves and others who may be affected by their actions and to co-operate with others. The Regulations cover places where the HSW Act applies - these include factories, offshore installations, agricultural premises, offices, shops, hospitals, hotels, places of entertainment etc.

What do the Regulations require me to do?

You need to ensure that in using any lifting equipment the requirements of LOLER are met.

For example, you should ensure that all lifting equipment is:

  • sufficiently strong, stable and suitable for the proposed use. Similarly, the load and anything attached (eg timber pallets, lifting points) must
    be suitable;
  • positioned or installed to prevent the risk of injury, eg from the equipment or the load falling or striking people;
  • visibly marked with any appropriate information to be taken into account for its safe use, eg safe working loads. Accessories, eg slings, clamps etc, should be similarly marked.
  • Additionally, you must ensure that:
  • lifting operations are planned, supervised and carried out in a safe manner by people who are competent;
  • where equipment is used for lifting people it is marked accordingly, and it should be safe for such a purpose, eg all necessary precautions have been taken to eliminate or reduce any risk;
  • where appropriate, before lifting equipment (including accessories) is used for the first time, it is thoroughly examined. Lifting equipment may need to be thoroughly examined in use at periods specified in the Regulations (ie at least six-monthly for accessories and equipment used for lifting people and, at a minimum, annually for all other equipment) or at intervals laid down in an examination scheme drawn up by a competent person. All examination work should be performed by a competent person; and
  • following a thorough examination or inspection of any lifting equipment, a report is submitted by the competent person to the employer to
    take the appropriate action.

How do the Regulations relate to other health and safety legislation?

The requirements of the Regulations need to be considered alongside other health and safety law.

For example, section 2 of the HSW Act requires all employers to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare of all their employees. Similarly, the MHSWR contain important duties which relate to the carrying out of a risk assessment to identify measures that you can take to eliminate, or reduce, the risks presented by the particular hazards in your workplace.

Other more specific legislation, for example the Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992, may also apply. Under these particular
Regulations there may be a need to provide a safety harness for rope access work during activities such as window cleaning.

How are the Regulations enforced?

Health and safety inspectors enforce the Regulations. If you have duties under LOLER you will be given time to assimilate the new requirements. However, where there are serious risks, or the requirements are not new, inspectors will be prepared to take firm enforcement action.