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Are there any regulations I should be aware of governing the use of lifting equipment?

 25/11/2015    Last Modified: 31/07/2023

Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998

What is it?

LOLER is a set of regulations that apply to employers, the self-employed and people in control of, or managing, lifting operations. LOLER is aimed at ensuring all lifting operations are properly planned, lifting equipment is used in a safe manner and lifting equipment is thoroughly examined at suitable intervals by a competent person.

What does it do?

LOLER requires that all equipment used to carry a load (a person in the case climbing equipment or a static load in the case of rigging equipment), be fit for purpose. All components of the systems in use must individually identifiable, kept to their respective roles and inspected following the schedule below. MEWPs and cranes also fall under this regulation.


Daily checks should be carried out by climbers prior to using any piece of equipment. Climbers are competent to make daily checks by virtue of their C&G/NPTC certification. Articles of high wear, e.g. prussic loops, friction hitch lanyards, regularly used ropes etc, should be subject to a recorded weekly inspection.

All equipment should be subject to a “thorough examination” by a “competent” person. Equipment carrying people should be thoroughly examined at least every 6 months and rigging equipment at least every 12 months, or after any unusual or intense period of wear.

Competent Person

A competent person for the examination should hold the C&G/NPTC Thorough Examination of Arboricultural Equipment certificate and be familiar with the equipment you use. They may be an employee of the company but must be contractually free to make decisions without fear or favour. Where an employee or the proprietor of a company acts as the competent person a method of arbitration should be available through an independent third party.

Little Used Items

Items used infrequently, e.g. heavy rigging equipment, specialist bollards, etc., need only be examined prior to use. Dedicated rescue equipment, kept in a sealed bag for that purpose only, need only be examined at the 6 monthly intervals or after any use and resealed.

Reports and Defects

A person making a thorough examination for an employer should notify defects and make a report of the examination. The competent person should notify the employer immediately of any defect which in their opinion is, or could become a danger to people. They should also send a copy of the report to HSE if they consider there is an imminent risk of serious personal injury.

Further information:

health & safety, lifting equipment, LOLER, regulations