The Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 (more commonly known as LOLER) is a set of standards designed to ensure that lifting equipment in the workplace is safe to use. Though it is down to the employer to uphold safety within the workplace and make sure employees are well-informed about safety procedures, employees have their own roles to play when it comes to maintaining their safety and others.
In order to keep both employers and employees up to date on what is and is not required, we have put together this useful guide which details the core responsibilities that fall to the employee, and how exactly they can be addressed.
Employee Responsibilities Under LOLER
LOLER guidelines are based on a set of specific regulations, that align with health and safety laws within the UK such as the W Act 1974, and under this legislation, it is the employee’s responsibility to:
Use All Lifting Equipment Safely
It is vital that employees operate all lifting equipment safely. This includes following all instructions provided by the manufacturer, as well as additional guidance from their employer, paying close attention to load weight restrictions, and practising good communication when in use.
Employees should also have access to adequate training in the correct use of lifting equipment, as well as how to spot potential issues and hazards ahead of time.
Check Lifting Equipment Before Every Use
This is a good habit for all employees, and anyone on the premises using the lift, to get into. By inspecting the equipment before use, and being trained to look for signs of wear or damage, they can prevent stalling, breakdown, and personal injury.
Things to look out for might include obvious signs of damage, corrosion within load-bearing parts and cables, that all safety features and controls are up and running, and in the case of hydraulic lifts, that the fluid levels are correct.
Properly Report Damage or Defects
If issues are spotted within a certain part of the lifting equipment, employees should know how to report this and the person to report it to. Clear communication between team members and higher management is essential for compliance with LOLER regulations. Putting an efficient reporting system in place can save you time and money, but most crucially will help to keep people safe.
Follow the Correct Procedures
Certain procedures should be put into place to ensure the correct use of all lifting equipment. This includes instructions such as how much a specific platform can carry per journey and the intended purpose of the machinery itself. Employees should be well-versed in all of these procedures, supported by formal training and prompts in the form of safety signage.
Ensure the Responsible Use of PPE
Personal Protective Equipment (or PPE) is essential for certain types of lifting equipment in the workplace. Types of appropriate PPE might include safety boots, hard hats, or heavy-duty gloves. All necessary equipment should be made available to every employee, and relevant guidance on how to use each should also be provided.
Work as a Team
With the support of their employer, all employees should work together when it comes to the safe operation of lifting equipment. Without good cooperation, no amount of safety procedures or PPE will be enough to ensure safety in the workplace.
Robust health and safety culture is a group effort, with all members of the team supporting and learning from each other, and knowing how and when to communicate issues or concerns so that effective solutions can be put into place, ensuring that everyone is safe in your workplace.
The LOLER Support We Offer at Gartec
By seeing to these core responsibilities, employees can help to ensure the safe use of all lifting equipment and reduce the risk of injury and lasting damage.
At Gartec, we offer a vast range of servicing packages which cover planned LOLER inspections and certification renewal. When a LOLER inspection takes place, and the impartial competent person submits their assessment, the following report can detail problem areas within the workplace and provide guidance for employers on how to improve these areas and create a more steadfast health and safety regime.