Lifting Operations and Equipment

The Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations (LOLER) apply to all lifting equipment whether it is existing, second-hand, leased or new and to all premises and work situations covered by the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.

LOLER builds on the requirements of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations and both sets of regulations should be considered.

Examples of types of lifting equipment and operations covered include a:

  • Passenger lift in an office block
  • Rope and pulley used to raise a bucket of cement on a building site
  • Dumb waiter in a restaurant or hotel
  • Vehicle inspection hoist
  • Scissors lift
  • Forklift truck
  • Bath hoist lifting a resident into the bath in a nursing home
    Vehicle tail lift


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


The general requirement within the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations for risk assessments will assist in the assessment of the lifting equipment's' suitability for a proposed lifting operation. The factors to be considered in the LOLER assessment process are:

  • Type of load being lifted – its nature, weight and shape
  • Risk of the load falling or striking something and its consequences
  • Risk of the lifting equipment striking something or someone and its consequences
  • Risk of the lifting equipment failing or falling over while in use and the consequences

Strength and Stability

Every part of a load and any lifting attachment must be of adequate strength and stability. Particular attention must be paid to any mounting and fixing points.

Lifting Equipment for Lifting Persons

Operating conditions are stipulated where lifting equipment is used for lifting people.

The lifting carrier has to prevent:

  • crushing
  • trapping
  • being struck
  • falls from it
  • and allow a trapped person to be freed

The lifting equipment must have suitable devices to prevent the carrier falling.

Marking of Lifting Equipment

Lifting equipment must be marked with the safe working load (SWL) and lifting accessories require to be marked to show their safe use characteristics.

Thorough Examination and Inspection

Competent persons must undertake all inspections and thorough examinations. A thorough examination must be carried out:

  • When the equipment is put into service for the first time
  • Where safety depends on the installation conditions to ensure that it has been installed correctly and is safe to operate
  • At least once in every six months for lifting equipment used for lifting persons
  • At least once in every six months for lifting accessories
  • At least once in every 12 months for all other lifting equipment
  • After exceptional circumstances liable to affect the safety of the lifting equipment

An inspection may also be required at suitable intervals for certain types of lifting equipment following the identification of significant risk to the operator or other workers by a competent person.

Unless indicated otherwise by the manufacturer it would be appropriate to continue inspecting lifting equipment at weekly intervals. For the majority of lifting equipment the operator should be competent to carry out the regular inspection.

Reports of thorough examinations are to be sent to the employer and any owner/hire and if there is found to be an imminent or existing risk of serious personal injury the competent person is required to notify the enforcing authority.

Reports and Defects

The competent person inspecting the lifting equipment must notify the employer of any defects and make a written record of the inspection.

Keeping of Information

Any EC conformity declaration received with the lifting equipment must be kept for as long as the equipment is operated. The reports of thorough examinations must be kept as follows:

  • For equipment first put into use by the user – until he/she no longer uses the lifting equipment
  • For accessories for lifting first put into use by the user – for two years after the report is made
  • For equipment dependent on installation conditions – until the user no longer uses the lifting equipment at that place
  • For all other thorough examinations – until the next report is made or for two years, whichever is the longer

No lifting equipment should leave any undertaking unless physical evidence that the last thorough examination has been carried out accompanies it.

Reports of thorough examination and inspections should be kept available for inspection at the place where the lifting equipment is used. Reports must be readily available to Local Authority or HSE inspectors if required.


  1. The Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations (LEGUK)
  2. L113: Safe use of Lifting Equipment - Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations. Approved code of practice and guidance (HSC)
  3. L 117: Rider-operated Lift Trucks: Operator Training - Approved Code of Practice and Guidance (HSC)
  4. HSG 6: Safety in Working with Lift Trucks (HSE)
  5. INDG 339: Thorough Examination and Testing of Lifts - Simple Guidance for Lift Owners (HSE)
  6. INDG 290: Simple Guide to the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 (HSE)