Keeping Your Workplace Safe Lifting Equipment Inspections

Lifting equipment inspections should be carried out periodically during the lifetime of your equipment to ensure it is safe generally, decease but also after any exceptional circumstances like exposure to chemicals.

LOLER the lifting operations and lifting equipment regulations were brought into place by Health and safety authorities in 1998. The aim was to ensure that equipment used by employees is strong, stable and suitable for use, and to reduce the risk of accidents in the workplace. LOLER runs in correlation with usual work place laws and regulations. LOLER covers the use of a variety of equipment including;

  • Cranes
  • Fork lift trucks
  • Vehicle inspection platforms
  • Hoists
  • Lifts
  • Mobile elevating platforms

PUWER regulations replaced the existing 1992 health and safety of the use of work equipment with just a few changes. PUWER will inspect the safety of higher risk objects like; saws, knives, ladders, drilling machines and lifting machines.   They will check that the equipment is used in the correct way, that the staff using the equipment wear protective clothing etc… and that the staff that are trained to use the equipment. They will check that the equipment is safe to use and if a record is kept to confirm the safety checks have been made regularly.

As an employer it’s your responsibility to carry out prevention procedures, for example;

  • If you are using the equipment for the first time you should carry out checks to ensure lifts are being used correctly.
  • When equipment is not in use, ensuring it is stored away properly
  • Report any defects
  • Ensure that when declared redundant, the item is removed from the workplace
  • Do not allow the hook to pass over people’s heads – loaded or not
  • Ensure all equipment is checked through examination of fixed and loose lifting equipment regulators
  • Have regular inspections as often as recommended by law and/or manufacturers
  • Always ensure that the load is installed and fixed to the hook properly before use
  • Keep up to date with lifting legislation

When purchasing lifting equipment you should first check that;

  • It is CE marked and includes a declaration of conformity and a set of instructions.
  • There are no missing safety guards

Once you have the equipment in use, HSE recommends three types of checks

  • Quick checks – these should be carried out before every use e.g.. the cables, brakes etc….
  • Weekly checks – of the functioning, guarding etc…
  •  But a more extensive check should be carried out every few months or so – ensuring harnesses are safe and checking the strength of the product.

Taking precautions and following regulations set by law could save you or your business from a very serious accident. By ensuring lifts are planned by competent employees, walkways are partitioned off, your equipment is checked regularly through lifting equipment inspections – you minimise risk and make your establishment a happier place to work.

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