LOLER stands for Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations and refers to the LOLER 1998 regulations which requires that all lifting equipment should be thoroughly examined at suitable intervals by an independent and competent person.
There are two primary questions you need to answer to help you decide if your equipment requires LOLER testing.
1) Is it work equipment? – Work Equipment is defined as “any machinery appliance, apparatus, tool or installation for use at work (whether exclusively or not)”
2) Is it lifting equipment? – Lifting equipment is defined as “equipment which lifts or lowers loads as a principal function”. Within the health and social care sector ‘loads’ would generally be people.
If you answer YES to both questions then it is likely you need to arrange for LOLER testing to be carried out.
Some examples of patient lifting equipment which requires regular testing under the LOLER 1998 regulations are as follows:
• Mobile hoists
• Ceiling hoists
• Standing/raising aids
• Slings (lifting accessory)
• Bath hoists/lifts Items such as a height adjustable bed or chair do not however come under the LOLER 1998 Regulation, as lifting is not the principal function.
If you are a business owner and / or employer you have a responsibility to make sure that all lifting equipment is suitable and stable for its proposed use. This includes regular inspections and maintenance checks under LOLER.
A LOLER Inspection should be completed by a competent, impartial and independent person, who has sufficient practical and technical knowledge and experience of lifting equipment to enable the identification of faults or weaknesses.
Documentation should always be provided following a LOLER test, and this should include information relating to the inspection and crucially should notify of any defects identified. This is called a thorough examination report.
Thorough LOLER tests should be conducted at least every 6 months on all patient / person lifting equipment and any accessories (this includes slings).
Daily checks should also be carried out by the user before any lifting equipment is used. If faults or defects are found in these checks, they should be reported immediately and the equipment taken out of use until a specialist has conducted a thorough inspection.
A very useful and more detailed information outline of the LOLER 1998 Regulation as it relates to Health & Social Care can be found see http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/hsis4.pdf