There are a number of regulations which govern the use of lifting equipment in the workplace which come under the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 (LOLER) which came into force on 5 December 1998, replacing all existing regulations.

Any equipment used for lifting or lowering loads, including attachments, is covered by the regulations

According to the HSE, the regulations require that equipment used for lifting is

-      Strong and stable enough for the particular use

-      Positioned and installed to minimise any risks

-      Used safely

-      Subject to ongoing thorough examination

In order to achieve this, companies must ensure that lifting equipment, and the loads being carried, are strong, stable and suitable for purpose, positioned in such a way as to prevent the risk of injury and visibly marked with any information needed to ensure the equipment is used safely.

The regulations are enforced by health and safety inspectors and if companies are found to be ignoring them after a sufficient adjustment period or putting workers at risk there can be serious consequences.

Ultimately, lifting equipment is vital in many UK workplaces but it must be used with caution to avoid the risk of accidents.

If work conducted using lifting equipment is planned ahead, properly supervised and carried out by trained individuals using well-maintained machinery then any risks are minimised and companies will ensure they are complying with their legal requirements.

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