The Lifting Operations Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 are a set of regulations created under the Health and safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and came into force in Great Britain on 5 December 1998.
The purpose of the regulations was to reduce the risk of injury from lifting equipment used at work. Areas covered include the requirement for lifting equipment to be strong and stable enough for safe use and to be marked to indicate safe working loads; ensuring that any equipment is positioned and installed so as to minimise risks; that the equipment is used safely ensuring that work is planned, organised and performed by a competent person; that equipment is subject to ongoing thorough examination and where appropriate inspection by competent people.
Records should be kept of all inspections and thorough examinations and any defects found reported to the person responsible for the equipment.
From a tree surgery perspective lifting equipment covers ropes, harnesses, slings, hooks and pulley systems. All used whenever a tree is climbed and wood lowered from a tree to the ground.
L.O.L.E.R. inspections are part of the legal requirement and the minimum time stated for these are every 6 months in respect of lifting/lowering persons and every 12 months for other lifting equipment.
Richard Gauld is a qualified L.O.L.E.R. Inspector having sat and passed the City and Guilds qualification NPTC’s Certificate of Competence in the Thorough Examination of Arboricultural Equipment.