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FAQ

 

WHAT IS A THOROUGH EXAMINATION?
HOW OFTEN DOES A LOLER INSPECTION NEED TO BE CARRIED OUT?
WHAT HAPPENS IF EQUIPMENT FAILS?

All of your questions answered.

 

WHAT IS A THOROUGH EXAMINATION?

A Thorough Examination is a statutory requirement for lifting equipment under the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 (LOLER 98), Regulation 9. It has the same purpose as an MOT inspection by providing a report that identifies whether or not the lifting equipment is safe to use, and/or advice that needs to be followed to avoid risks in use. It is just as important as an MOT - probably more so! There is a legal requirement for a Thorough Examination to be carried out at least every 6 or 12 months depending upon the type of lifting equipment, and often more frequently depending on conditions of use. 
There are legal requirements under the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER 98), Regulation 6. They require all safety aspects of the lifting equipment to be inspected, and actions specified to remedy any defects found before they can create risks in use. To avoid duplication of effort the inspection of these other items would normally be carried out within the Thorough Examination.

WHAT DOES A THOROUGH EXAMINATION INVOLVE? WHAT IS EXAMINED?

Thorough Examination is the inspection of lifting equipment, as required by LOLER 98, and other safety related components or equipment, as required by PUWER 98. A Competent Person is required to examine these items, check them for serviceability ?and report accordingly. It is not a full maintenance inspection of the equipment. A Thorough Examination is substantially different from a maintenance inspection and the Competent Person has different duties to fulfill under the law.

WHAT IS A LOLER INSPECTION?

The term LOLER Inspection is sometimes used, incorrectly, to describe a Thorough Examination. It is used because LOLER is the shortened version of "Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998". These regulations, and the associated Approved Code of Practice, prescribe the format to be used for the Report of a Thorough Examination. It is safest to stick to the term Thorough Examination.

IS A THOROUGH EXAMINATION A LEGAL REQUIREMENT?

Yes. Please refer to the HSE Publications (see Useful Links).

THE REGULATIONS AND WHAT THEY MEAN.

Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 (LOLER 98) are the regulations that apply specifically to Lifting Equipment.
LOLER 98 is aimed at ensuring that all lifting operations are properly planned, that Lifting Equipment is used in a safe manner and that, where necessary, tested/checked at regular intervals by a Competent Person.

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).

WHAT IS A SAFETY INSPECTION?

Safety Inspection is a term sometimes used to describe Thorough Examination under LOLER 98 and other inspection requirements under PUWER 98.

WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR MAKING SURE THAT LIFTING EQUIPMENT HAS A CURRENT REPORT OF THOROUGH EXAMINATION?

In simple terms it is the employer of the operator who has this responsibility. Under Health and Safety legislation the employer has a duty of care - "It shall be the duty of every employer to ensure, as far as is reasonably practical, the health, safety and welfare at work of all his employees". The employer must ensure that the equipment that his/her operators use, are safe. This is achieved through the implementation of a programme of Thorough Examinations. (It should be remembered that Thorough Examinations run alongside necessary maintenance procedures and checks, not in place of them.)
Where the employer is the owner of the equipment this duty is clear. The employer must make arrangements for lifting equipment to be Thoroughly Examined on a regular basis, at least once every 6 or 12 months - depending upon the type of lifting equipment being used. 
If the employer is not the owner of the lifting equipment but leases or rents it on a long-term basis, usually 12 months or more, the responsibility is the same as though, the lifting equipment was owned by the employer.
If the lifting equipment is provided on a short-term contract, a contract of less than 12 months, then the owner of the lifting equipment, the rental company, is responsible for arranging the Thorough Examination. However, the employer must still satisfy himself that such an examination has been conducted at an appropriate time. This can be achieved by insisting that a copy of the current Report of Thorough Examination is provided with other rental documentation.

WHAT HAPPENS IF THE LIFTING EQUIPMENT FAILS THE THOROUGH EXAMINATION?

Fail is not really the right word. At the time of the Thorough Examination the Competent Person will make a report. On the report he will list any defects he has found. If there are no defects then the equipment can continue in use.With defects that do not create imminent risk a timescale may be given within which the faults must be rectified. The defects must be rectified within this period, but meanwhile the equipment may continue in use.
Alternatively, the equipment may be taken out of use until the faults have been rectified. The Competent Person will check that the defects have been rectified, within the given period, at the time of the next Thorough Examination.
Where there is a defect that could imminently be of danger to persons, the Competent Person may recommend that the equipment cannot be used until the fault has been rectified. In these circumstances the equipment must be taken out of use immediately. It may not be used again until the defect has been rectified.

HOW DO I KNOW THAT HIRED LIFTING EQUIPMENT HAS A CURRENT REPORT OF THOROUGH EXAMINATION?

Ask to see a copy of the report.

WHO CAN CARRY OUT A THOROUGH EXAMINATION?

The legislation refers to a Competent Person. For the purpose of Thorough Examination a Competent Person is an experienced service engineer or examiner who meets the general criteria explained in LOLER 98.

HOW OFTEN MUST LIFTING EQUIPMENT AND ACCESSORIES BE THOROUGHLY EXAMINED?

You must have lifting equipment thoroughly examined:

  • before using it for the first time - unless the equipment has an EC Declaration of Conformity less than one year old and was not assembled on site. If it was assembled on site, it must be examined by a competent person to establish the assembly was correct and safe, eg a platform lift installed in a building

  • after assembly and before use at each location for equipment that requires assembly or installation before use, eg tower cranes

  • regularly in service if the equipment is exposed to conditions causing deterioration that is likely to result in dangerous situations.

  • at regular intervals (either at least every 6 months or 12 months depending on whether the lifting equipment is for lifting people or not); or - in accordance with an examination scheme drawn up by a competent person. Accessories for lifting must be thoroughly examined either at least every 6 months or in accordance with an examination scheme.

Always have lifting equipment thoroughly examined following 'exceptional circumstances', eg if it is damaged or fails, is out of use for long periods, or if there is a major change in how it is used which is likely to affect its integrity.

Lifting equipment should be inspected by a Competent Person under a Thorough Examination Scheme, which allows for specific timescales of use for the equipment and conditions it is used in. Therefore if the conditions are deemed arduous (24hr operation, salt or brine atmospheres), then the timescales should be reduced according to the specifications of a Risk Assessment.

WILL THE COMPETENT PERSON REPORT US TO THE HEALTH & SAFETY PEOPLE?

Not normally. However, he does have a duty to send a copy of his report to the relevant enforcing authority in certain situations. This applies where there is, in his opinion, a defect in the lifting equipment involving an existing or imminent risk of serious personal injury. This requirement is limited to those cases where there would be a risk of serious personal injury arising from failure of the lifting equipment should anyone attempt to use it.

IF I WANT TO READ MORE ABOUT THIS SUBJECT WHAT SHOULD I READ?

The following publications can be purchased from HSE Books (Tel: 01787 881165)

HSE - Health and Safety Executive

·       Safe Use of Work Equipment

·       Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998

·       (PUWER 98)

·       Approved Code of Practice And Guidance

·       HSE Code L22

·       ISBN Code 0-7176-1626-6 Safe Use of Lifting Equipment ?Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 (LOLER 98)

·       Approved Code of Practice and Guidance

·       HSE Code L113

·       ISBN Code 0-7176-1828-2

PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS

IPAF - The International Powered Access Federation

The International Powered Access Federation (IPAF) promotes the safe and effective use of powered access worldwide. Set up in 1983, IPAF is a not-for-profit members organization that represents the interests of manufacturers, distributors, users, rental and training companies. It serves as a forum for all active in the world of powered access. IPAF has played a key role in promoting many of the design, safety and testing procedures that are now established in the powered access industry.

CAP Certification

The IPAF Competent Assessed Persons (CAP) programme focuses on a crucial aspect of safety-that of the machine itself.

Successful assessment provides suitable candidates with the valuable documentary evidence that they are certified as competent persons to plan, manage or carry out thorough examinations of platforms in the context of current legislation including the Work at Height Regulations, LOLER and PUWER 98.

Access Service & Maintenance Ltd can confirm that all our engineers are IPAF CAP certified to ensure all Thorough Examinations and repairs are carried out to the highest of standards.

 

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