Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations Policy

Important Information: The Policies and Guidance on the website have been amended for accessibility reasons. Hard copies of the originals can be requested from or 01509 222181. When making decisions or attempting works based on these documents please consult the originals.

Policy Statement

LOLER is supported by L113 Safe use of lifting equipment: Approved Code of Practice (ACOP) and additional free guidance from HSE.

The failure and/or misuse of lifting equipment can potentially cause serious personal injury, significant damage to property and loss of time and money. Failure of any load­ bearing part of any lifting equipment is reportable to the Health and Safety Executive as a Dangerous Occurrence under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (2013) (RIDDOR)

If you undertake lifting operations or are involved in providing lifting equipment for others to use, you must manage and control the risks to avoid any injury or damage.

Where you undertake lifting operations, you must:

  • Plan them properly
  • Use only people who are competent and trained
  • Supervise them appropriately
  • Ensure that operations are carried out in a safe manner
  • Ensure lifting equipment and accessories are appropriate for task;
  • Mark Safe Working Loads [SWL] or Work Load Limit (WLL) on lifting equipment and accessories.
  • Thoroughly examine and inspect lifting equipment and accessories.

Applicable regulations and legislation

Most lifting equipment and lifting accessories will also fall within the scope of the Machinery Directive, as implemented by the UK Supply of Machinery (Safety) Regulations. Such equipment must have been subject to conformity assessment and be appropriately CE marked and accompanied by a Declaration of Conformity (DOC) before being placed on the market or brought into use. This includes lifting equipment such as manually operated chain blocks and car jacks.

The DOC must accompany the new product and is an important document, which should be retained by the user. The DOC may avoid the need for an initial thorough examination before first use in those cases where the safety of that equipment does not depend on the conditions of its installation or assembly.

There are other legal duties that need to be followed:

  • The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999
  • The Workplace (Health, Safety & Welfare) Regulations 1992 and
  • The Provision and use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998
  • The Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992
  • the Supply of Machinery (Safety) (Amendment) Regulations 2011

BS 7121-1:2006 Code of Practice for Safe Use of Cranes has been used in the preparation of this policy.

This policy seeks to establish consistent standards across both campus locations, providing guidelines on the responsibilities of relevant personnel involved. A LOLER Decision Tree has been issued by HSE and is presented in Appendix 1.


This policy sets out what managers, staff, students and tenants have to do to ensure the safety of people when using lifting equipment or when using passenger and goods lifts. When an object or person is lifted and lowered there are risks from:

  • Equipment failure resulting in the object or person being lifted or lowered to fall. injuring persons beneath;
  • Collapse of equipment or its components which fall onto persons causing injury;
  • During the operation of lifting equipment persons being injured by being crushed. Struck or falling.


What is a lifting operation?

Regulation 8(2) of LOLER defines a lifting operation as “an operation concerned with the lifting or lowering of a load'.

 What is lifting equipment?

'Lifting equipment' means work equipment for lifting and lowering loads and includes its attachments used for anchoring, fixing or supporting the equipment. This includes: cranes, lift trucks, goods and passenger lifts, hoists, elevating access or work platforms, tractor front-end loaders, vehicle tail lifts; and the "lifting accessories" such as ropes, chains, slings shackles, eye bolts, etc.


Within the University many Schools/Professional Services will have equipment and operations that they may not traditionally associate with lifting or lowering loads. Examples include ropes used for climbing or work positioning during arboriculture; fall arrest systems for working at height; vehicle tail lifts; mobile elevating work platforms (MEWPs).

'FS' refers to the Facilities Services. FS is responsible for all passenger and goods lifts throughout Loughborough University.

"Competent person" with regard to thorough examination of lifts and lifting equipment is a person/organisation with sufficient technical and practical knowledge to be able to detect any defects and assess how significant they are. The competent person should be sufficiently independent and impartial to allow them to make an objective assessment.


It is not advisable for the same person who performs routine maintenance to carry out the thorough examination, as they are then responsible for assessing their own work.

The competent person appointed by Loughborough University for conducting ‘thorough examinations’ is currently the British Engineering Services (B.E.S) Engineer Surveyor. The 'thorough examination' is sometimes termed an 'insurance inspection'.


The primary regulations applicable to this guide are the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations (LOLER) 1998.

Selecting the right equipment

LOLER requires that lifting equipment must be of adequate strength and stability. This adds to the general obligations under PUWER regarding the suitability of work equipment.

Lifting equipment should be positioned or installed in such a way as to reduce the risk, as far as reasonably practicable, of the equipment or load striking a person, or of the load drifting, falling freely or being unintentionally released.

Where people are being lifted, there are additional requirements to prevent people from being injured in / by the carrier, including more frequent thorough examinations.

Any School and Professional Service that is responsible for lifting equipment (which includes hoists, cranes, fork lift trucks, chains, ropes, lifting accessories, Jacks, and lifting beams) must:

  • Identify all lifting operations and equipment
  • Appoint a competent person(s) to be responsible for each item of lifting equipment owned or used by the School/Professional Service
  • Ensure that lifting operations are planned. undertaken and supervised by trained and competent persons:
  • Maintain lifting equipment;
  • Examine and inspect lifting equipment as required under LOLER. or in accordance with a written scheme of examination that has been drawn up by a competent person
  • Keep inspection. test and maintenance records;
  • Ensure that before lifting equipment is used. it is examined by the user for any signs of physical damage, and if damaged is taken out of use;
  • Ensure that lifting equipment is sufficiently strong, stable and suitable for the proposed use;
  • Ensure that the load and anything attached (e.g. pallets & lifting points) are suitable:
  • Ensure that lifting equipment is positioned or installed to prevent the risk of injury, e.g. from the equipment or the load falling or striking people:
  • Ensure that lifting equipment and accessories e.g. slings. Clamps. Are visibly marked with information to be taken into account for its safe use e.g. safe working loads.

Duty Holder: COO (senior person responsible)

The Chief Operating Officer (COO) is the Statutory Duty Holder and, as the senior person responsible, has overall accountability for all aspects of the management of health and safety in the University organisation.

Duty Authorised Person

A person, employed by the University, with the required knowledge, training and experience, appointed by the Director of Estates in writing, to take managerial responsibility for the implementation of policy and procedures for a specific area of health and safety legislation.

Key duties include:

  • To ensure overall compliance in regard to LOLER.

  • To review and update as necessary the University LOLER Policy.
  • To assist and offer advice in regard to LOLER across all areas of the University.
  • Ensuring the LOLER Register is up to date.
  • Ensuring there are an adequate number of Authorised Persons appointed across the University, so that LOLER compliance can be managed at a local level
  • To ensure that all insurance written schemes are produced.
  • To ensure inspections are carried out in accordance with the risk assessment
  • To gain assurance from departments that asset (insurance inspection) tagging is taking place with current in date colour code chart being displayed where all lifting equipment is stored/used. Presented example Appendix 3:

Authorised Person

A person, either employed by the University or another organisation, possessing proficient technical knowledge and having received appropriate training, appointed by the Duty Authorised Person in writing to take responsibility for the implementation of policy and procedures as specified of a specific area of H&S legislation. There will be Authorised Persons appointed in different areas across the University, supporting local teams in complying with this Policy.

Competent Person

The operative / individuals, either employed by the University or another organisation, recognised by the Authorised Person as having the competence to undertake the task and follow the relevant process / procedure. This person undertakes the task at the place of work and, in the context of this Policy, can be one of the following:

  • Slinger / Signaller
  • Inspector of Lifting Equipment
  • Crane operator

Facilities Services

Facilities Services (FS) are responsible for the asset ownership and maintenance of LOLER infrastructure. Refer to appendix 2 for visual examples of asset ownership.

Facilities Services Electrical Manager

FS are responsible for meeting the requirements of LOLER in so far as they apply to goods and passenger lifts. Therefore, responsibilities for the safe installation, commissioning, maintenance, inspection and test are delegated to the FS Electrical team leader.

FS Electrical Service Manager engage competent third parties as the electrical team don’t possess the specialised skills necessary. The FS Electrical Service Manager must ensure, where lifting equipment is maintained by Contractors, that:

  •  A risk assessment is completed and current for each passenger and goods lift and lifting operation;
  • The thorough examination of lifts are carried out at agreed appropriate intervals by a competent person and resultant remedial work is carried out in a timely fashion
  • Inspections and maintenance are carried out between the examinations in accordance with the equipment manufacturer's information and the risk assessment;
  • Where necessary. a written scheme of examination is prepared for lifting equipment
  •  Adequate records are kept in compliance with LOLER.

Duties of Deans of Schools & Directors of Professional Services

Deans and Directors are responsible for ensuring that there are suitable delegated staff in their areas of responsibility to discharge the following duties:

  • Ensure that all lifting operations undertaken by their staff or students are identified
  • Ensure the operators and their supervisors are given the necessary information, instruction and training
  • Ensure that initial planning is carried out by those with appropriate knowledge and expertise (i.e. the right equipment and resources are chosen for the task)
  • Ensure that the individual lifting operations are planned and carried out by competent persons with appropriate knowledge and expertise establishing a safe system of work
  • Ensure that the lifting equipment is satisfactorily maintained
  • Ensure that mobile lifting equipment and accessories for lifting loads and people are strong and stable enough for the particular use and are clearly marked to indicate their safe working loads; CDM regulations 2015 should be consulted.
  • Ensure that lifting equipment is positioned and installed to minimise risks
  • Ensure that lifting equipment which is designed for lifting people is clearly marked to this effect and vice versa for equipment not designed for lifting people e.g. goods lifts
  • Cooperate with arrangements made for thorough examination and testing by a 'competent person' (i.e. the 'insurance inspector') followed by resultant remedial work
  • Ensure that LOLER is complied with where relevant and the risk of the use of lifting equipment is satisfactorily controlled
  • Seek further information and advice as necessary, before lifting operations are undertaken.

Duties of Staff, Building Occupants, Tenants, Students

All staff, students and other building occupants, e.g. tenants and members of the public, must:

  • Not use lifting equipment unless they have been properly trained
  • Not travel in goods lifts;
  • Not overload passenger or goods lifts;
  • Report any defects associated with passenger or goods lifts to FS (via the operational reporting software package or FS Help Desk, tel 01509 222121);
  • In the event of being trapped out of hours, follow the emergency procedures in the lift and use the Telephone or intercom to contact Security (Telephone 01509 222141);
  • Never attempt to escape from a broken-down lift.

Equipment Hire/Loan

Occasionally, external organisations loan or provide lifting equipment to the University for research or development use and studies. For example, medical equipment for lowering persons is used by a University department to study its effectiveness. In these instances, Loughborough University do not own the asset, but are temporarily loaned it.

Those hiring out equipment for use at work are considered as suppliers under section 6 of the Health and Safety at Work Act and so have broad responsibilities for the safety of the products they hire out. This includes (so far as reasonably practicable) pre-hire testing and inspection to ensure continued safety, and the provision of information.

Although they need to look for obvious safety defects (in terms of the initial safety of CE-marked equipment), those hiring out equipment do not have to go into the detailed design of that equipment or enhance its safety beyond the requirements of the relevant product supply Directive - provided the product is CE marked, accompanied by user instructions and, where relevant, a Declaration of Conformity.

Those hiring out work equipment also have responsibilities under PUWER (and if lifting equipment LOLER), in so far as they exercise control over that equipment (for example, ensuring the thorough examination of lifting equipment and other routine inspections have taken place at the required intervals). It may be appropriate for the user to organise the periodic thorough examinations (which should be by written agreement, particularly for long-term hire). However, unless part of the hire agreement, those hiring out work equipment can't normally be responsible for the day-to-day and other pre-use safety checks which should be undertaken by the user.

All loaned equipment being used by Loughborough University requires a Temporary Asset Loan Form completing and returning to the Universities Insurance Officer. (Appendix 6)

Planning Lifting Operations

1. Risk Assessment

A risk assessment should be undertaken to identify the risks of the proposed lifting operation assisting with a selection of measures to eliminate or adequately control the risks proportionate to the magnitude of risk. Initial planning

For all lifting activities the supervisor shall ensure that every lifting operation involving lifting equipment is—


  • properly planned by a competent person
  • appropriately supervised; and
  • carried out in a safe manner


The degree of planning will vary considerably, depending upon the type of lifting equipment to be used and the complexity of the lifting operation for which it will be used. This preliminary action must ensure that the equipment selected is suitable for the range of tasks that it will have to carry out. It must be strong and stable enough for the particular use, and must be installed correctly.

 Guidance: Checklist to assist in the selection of suitable lifting equipment

Consider: -

The weight and nature of the load to be lifted

What lifting accessories are needed?

Where is the load to be moved from and to?

How often will the equipment be used for this task?

In what environment will the equipment be used?


2. Planning of Individual Lifting Operations

For routine lifting operations the planning of each individual lifting operation will be a matter for the operators who have the appropriate knowledge, training and expertise.

For complex lifting operations it may be necessary to plan the task on each occasion.

For much more complex lifting operations (e.g. a tandem lift using multiple cranes), a written plan should be developed by a person with significant and specific competencies - adequate training, knowledge, skills and expertise - suitable for the level of the task.

 Guidance: An example of an action sequence for an individual routine lifting operation:

  • Assess the load
  • Select any appropriate accessories.
  • Check the path of the load this must surface and ground conditions.
  • Prepare its setting-down position.
  • Check the condition of the equipment and any accessories that secure the load
  • Make the lift, Release the load.

 Loads must not be carried or suspended over areas occupied by persons. This is particularly important where the load is being lifted over areas used by persons not engaged in the lifting operation, e.g. other members of staff, students or members of the public.

 Arrangements must be put in place to prevent unauthorised access to the area under the load, e.g. barriers or tapes, and signage.

3. Competence

Appropriate supervision will be determined by the nature of the work, and the competence of those involved in using the equipment.

Information and instruction must be provided for safe use of the equipment. Operators and those supervising the operation must receive training which should:

  • Enable staff to identify that lifting equipment is, or is not, safe to use;
  • Enable staff to carry out pre-use checks on the lifting equipment. to identify faults or damage;
  • Enable staff to use equipment safely.

Lifting of Persons

A higher risk is recognised when lifting equipment is used to lift persons. Examples include the use of Mobile Elevating Work Platforms (MEWP) which are often used by SDC and Facilities Services. More stringent requirements (LOLER reg. 5) are imposed for this equipment. These requirements are for measures to:

  • Prevent a person using the lift/lifting equipment being crushed, trapped or struck or falling from the carrier
  • Prevent the carrier falling
  • Ensure a person trapped in a carrier can be freed.

People should only be raised on work equipment that is specifically designed for that purpose. Nobody should ever be lifted in a loader bucket, on the forks of a fork-lift truck or a similar attachment not designed for the purpose.

Where a person in a carrier (work platform) might fall and be injured:

  • The carrier should be fitted with edge protection being suitable for the purpose and should be securely fixed to the carrier;
  • The edge protection should be sufficiently high and be either solid, mesh or. If in the form of rails. Should have a top rail. intermediate rail and a toe board;
  • The lifting equipment to which the carrier is attached should have a device to prevent the carrier becoming detached. This includes the basic attachment of the carrier to its lifting machine as well as any other devices necessary, e.g. if a carrier is fitted on telescopic loader the loader would need to have a hydraulic lock- off valve for the tilt mechanism;
  • A means of escape from the carrier should be available. This could include a ladder stored nearby.

The requirement for thorough examination and inspect ion for lifting equipment used to lift people is at a greater frequency, particularly where equipment is exposed to conditions liable to cause its deterioration - see Section 6.


Between 2 and 12 inspections are carried out on all passenger and goods lifts by the University's appointed lift contractor, who will agree any resultant remedial works with FS.

The University's appointed lift contractor carries out quality checks on the lifts to ensure that the works have been completed satisfactorily. They also prepare specifications for new lifts and witness test the lift installation and commissioning.

The FS Lift Procedures Manual is held on the FS Maintenance Workspace. The Workspace also gives access to competent persons' report, risk assessments, inspection reports and overload

Thorough Examination and Inspection

Thorough examinations must be carried out by a competent person (Insurance assessor):

  • Initially before equipment is taken into service;
  • Following installation where safety is dependent on correct installation;
  • Following any exceptional event (such as an incident) or long period without use;
  • Periodically where lifting equipment is exposed to conditions which may cause deterioration which could lead to a dangerous situation.


LOLER requires the periods between routine thorough examinations are:

  • Every 6 months for passenger lifts and other lifting equipment which lifts persons;
  • Every 6 months for lifting accessories;
  • Every 12 months for all other lifting equipment.

Visual tagging will be used following examination as an instant way of identifying equipment that is safe to use. See Appendix 3 for more details.

 A written examination scheme must be prepared with regards to the equipment's assessed risk.


Inspections between the thorough examinations may, as an outcome of the risk assessment, be found to be necessary. These may consist of functional checks and visual examinations at suitable intervals. They will normally be required where the safe operation of the lifting equipment is dependent on its condition in use and deterioration could lead to significant risks. Examples of such conditions include:

  • Rapid wear from use in an arduous environment;
  • Failure through repeated operation;
  • Malfunction;
  • Tampering with safety devices.

The inspection schedule that is appropriate will take account of the risk assessment and the equipment manufacturer's information. Additional external competence may be required when producing these schedules.

Any person carrying out elements of the inspection schedule, e.g. the operator, user or supervisor, must have an appropriate level of competence to do so.

Lifting equipment which may require regular inspection is likely to include fork-lift trucks and hoists. Lifting accessories such as chains or slings will not normally require an inspection so long as they receive a thorough examination at an appropriate interval, and a proper pre-use visual check. See Appendix 4 for details. Pre-use Visual checks

Pre-use checks must be carried on the lifting equipment before being used by a competent operator during each working day. The aim of such checks is to pick up faults due to day-to-day wear and tear and malfunction of safety-related equipment. If any defects are found the user or operator should report the defect and remove the equipment from service or, if competent to do so, take action to rectify it.

A trained operator or other person carrying out the checks should be able to identify damage to lifting ropes and accessories, distortions to shackles and other obvious faults which could affect the safe operation of the lifting equipment or accessories. Faulty or defective equipment should be withdrawn from service, destroyed and records amended/edited accordingly.

Procurement of Lifting Equipment and Accessories

Equipment should be sourced from credible suppliers experienced in the sector and with access to sound technical and training support. It should be CE marked and supplied with a Declaration of Conformity and instructions in English.

All lifting equipment including accessories, must be clearly marked to indicate their ‘safe working loads’ (SWL) or ‘work load’ (WLL) limit which is the maximum load the equipment can safely lift.

Where the SWL / WLL of any equipment or accessory depends on its configuration, the information provided on the SWL / WLL must reflect all potential configurations. For example, where the hook of an engine hoist can be moved to different positions, the SWL / WLL should be shown for each position.

Accessories must also be marked to show any characteristics that might affect their safe use which may include the weight of the parts where their weight is significant.

Some lifting equipment may be used in corrosive atmospheres – ensure the environment in which it will be operating in is assessed for its suitability. Particular specifications may be needed to ensure it is compatible.

The University’s internal Procurement Regulations Process must be followed at all times.

If in doubt or to obtain further assistance, contact the appropriate member of the Procurement Department, details for which can be found at the link below:


Asset Ownership

For all items of lifting equipment, an asset owner must be identified. The objective of this is to ensure it is maintained and serviced, keeping it compliant.

 The principles of who owns which asset is listed in Appendix 2.For any disagreements on asset, an arbitration route will be used to agree ownership of asset responsibilities

Record Keeping

All B.E.S inspected equipment should be colour tagged and dated (See Appendix 3) from its last inspection any equipment not of the correct colour tag should not be used and quarantined until inspected. IF it is not tagged or the tag is out of date DO NOT USE!  All equipment that is inspected will be registered.

Records must be kept by the person responsible for the lifting equipment, of:

  • Thorough examination reports of first use or new installation (other than of lifting accessories) for so long as the equipment is kept, or is in newly installed location;
  • EC declarations of conformity - for so long as the equipment is kept;
  • Routine thorough examinations reports of all lifting equipment - for at least 2 years. Or until the next report, whichever is longer;
  • Written examination schemes, where appropriate.

This documentation shall be retained on a single electronic register, accessible throughout the University so that the responsible department can upload the information onto it. The Facilities Information Team (FIT) own this register, which will be an integral part of the asset management system.

Equipment NOT Covered by LOLER (but covered by PUWER)

LOLER is wide in its scope. Some equipment might appear to be 'lifting', but is not covered by LOLER. Some notable exceptions that are not covered by LOLER include:

  • pallet trucks, where the consequence of the load falling off is very low
  • roller shutter doors
  • fall arrest ropes / harnesses
  • rise and fall desks

However, where this equipment is used at work, it will need to be maintained for safety and may (in some cases) be subject to inspection under the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations (PUWER). Link to regulations: PUWER.