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Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulation


The LOLER statutes relating to forklift trucks came into force on 5th December 1998 and place duties on companies who own, operate or have control over lifting equipment. This includes all businesses and organisations whose employees use lifting equipment, whether owned by them or hired. In most cases, lifting equipment is also work equipment so the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations (PUWER) will also apply. 

LOLER states that all lifting operations involving lifting equipment must be properly planned by a competent person, appropriately supervised and carried out in a safe manner.

LOLER also requires that all equipment used for lifting is fit for purpose, appropriate for the task, suitably marked and, in many cases including forklift trucks, subject to statutory periodic 'thorough examination'. Records must be kept of all thorough examinations and any defects found must be reported to both the person responsible for the equipment and the relevant enforcing authority.

What should you do?

  • Make sure that all lifting operations are properly planned
  • Ensure that all persons involved are sufficiently competent
  • Ensure that appropriate supervision is in place
  • Ensure that all lifts are done in a safe manner

What is lifting equipment?

Lifting equipment means work equipment for lifting and lowering loads. This includes lifting accessories and attachments used for anchoring, fixing or supporting the equipment. It also includes the lifting of people.

Thorough examination

Lifting equipment must be thoroughly examined in a number of situations, including:

  • Before first use, (Exceptions apply)
  • After installation or reinstallation
  • Where it is exposed to conditions that might cause danger

The British Industrial Truck Association, BITA, have an accreditation scheme for forklift thorough examinations and further information can be found here.

HSE Information Sheet MISC241, Fitting and use of restraining systems on forklift trucks can be downloaded here.