The legislation that covers business and trading can often be hard for entrepreneurs to understand.
It is laboriously worded, and does little to elucidate the legislation it outlines.
One statute that entrepreneurs have particular difficult with is the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998, commonly abbreviated to LOLER.
LOLER places a variety of duties on people and companies who own, operate, or have control over lifting equipment. This means that any enterprise that uses this sort of machinery to operate from day to day is governed by it.
Essentially, LOLER aims to ensure that operations involving lifting equipment are properly carried out by a competent employee, who is appropriately supervised and knows how to carry these actions out safely.
Furthermore, it requires that lifting apparatus is fit for purpose, appropriate for the task, and suitably marked.
How to Comply with LOLER
Complying with LOLER is far easier than you might imagine. The rules it sets down are only what any responsible employer would dictate themselves, and this means that adhering to them is relatively simple.
Their sole purpose is to protect your workers from being injured, and this means that most workplaces will already act in accordance with them, even if this is done unwittingly.
Broken down into four basic commandments, LOLER simply requires that:
- Lifting operations are properly planned
- That the people responsible for carrying them out are competent
- That proper supervision is provided
- That they’re carried out in a safe manner.
How to Select the Right Equipment
In order to comply with LOLER, it’s important for you to select the right equipment. This must be of adequate strength and stability, and should be positioned or installed in a way that minimises the risk of the equipment or its load falling and striking anyone.
In addition, it needs to be clearly marked with its ‘safe working load’ i.e. the maximum load that it can safely lift. Suppliers such as European Handling should be able to provide you with this information, if it’s not already clearly marked on the machinery.
Although LOLER is relatively easy to understand, some people like further clarification so that they can be confident that they’re adhering to its rules. Luckily, there are lots of places where this can be found, and they tend to explain it much more comprehensively than the dry wording of the legal statute.
A good place to start is the Safe Use of Lifting Equipment: Approved Code of Practice, or the free guidance available from the HSE. Both of these can be found online by simply typing your query into Google.
Follow this guidance today to make sure that your business is fully complaint with the rules set out in LOLER.
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