Accidents arising from the incorrect or negligible use of any type of lifting equipment, across the spectrum, result in a high number of incidents annually. From usage in the healthcare system, to warehouse factories, all equipment in this range must be handled in accordance with legislation. This is to further minimise the risk to the health and safety of professionals who come into regular contact with this equipment.
Who is responsible?
Regulations state that any person who uses assets covered in Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 (LOLER) are responsible for their own compliance. The assets include cranes, fork-lift trucks, lifts, hoists, mobile elevating work platforms, lifting accessories such as chains, slings, eyebolts etc. LOLER does not apply to escalators. This includes professionals in health care and social services, vehicle maintenance and the industrial sector. This applies to suppliers and clients.
What to do to be compliant?
The rules for compliance are clearly set out in LOLER. Passenger lifts, good lifts and mobile elevating work platforms should be inspected at least once every six months by a Competent Person. All other lifting equipment should be examined once a year by a Competent Person. When an inspector gives recommendations, these should be addressed with immediacy. There must also be a Scheme of Examination for all lifting equipment, and proof that the Competent Person has the necessary knowledge and experience to perform their duties. Escalator inspections should be carried out monthly.
Penalties for non-compliance
The penalties for failure for both suppliers and clients is high. Delivering and using equipment safely is a critical requirement to ensure a safe environment. In extreme cases, where there are fatalities, it can result in prosecution and imprisonment, or a corporate manslaughter case. This is a rare event, but it does place responsibility on the shoulders of senior members of organisations. In most scenarios, the penalties include heavy fines, increased insurance cost and reputational damage.
Attention must be shifted from fear of prosecution to the reason for the legislation. The health and safety of individuals is paramount. Employees should rest safe in the knowledge that they work in a safe and secure environment. Voltix Services is a specialist in carrying out risk assessments, services and inspections. We ensure a secure environment for all employers and employees. Contact us today.