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Staff safety around lifting equipment

28 July 2015

Businesses that own, operate or have control over lifting equipment must be familiar with the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 (LOLER).


Lifting equipment includes overhead cranes, motor vehicle lifts, goods and passenger lifts, telehandlers and fork lifts, and more.


The ‘dutyholder’ — the person who owns the equipment or is responsible for its operation — has a legal responsibility to manage risk, to limit the potential for injury or damage.

All equipment must be adequately strong for the tasks it will be used for, and installed in the least hazardous practical location. The safe working load (SWL) for each configuration must be clearly labelled. LOLER also states that equipment can only be used by a ‘competent’ person, so training is crucial.


Manufacturers such as Penny Hydraulics (www.pennyhydraulics.co.uk) offer specialised training for their equipment, to ensure that all operators are aware of the correct method, risks, and precautions. 

The level of supervision required should be determined by a thorough risk assessment, which must be conducted for each operation. Dutyholders also have a responsibility to ensure that lift equipment is examined when necessary, with any problems reported to all relevant parties.

For more information, see resources on the Health and Safety Executive website.