If you work in the haulage industry, it is important to become aware of the laws and regulations surrounding health and safety at work. The transportation of heavy goods comes with certain risks that can cause injury if appropriate measures are not taken. One of the most relevant pieces of legislations that can affect the haulage industry is called LOLER.
Intelligent Scaffolding is a specialist Liverpool scaffolding firm that knows all about the importance of keeping employees and the general public safe. The scaffolding and construction industries are two examples of where incorrect use of heavy lifting equipment can lead to serious injuries and consequences. In this article, Intelligent Scaffolding will run through the ins and outs of LOLER and how it affects businesses within the haulage industry.
What Is LOLER?
The word ‘LOLER’ refers to the ‘Lifting Operations & Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998’ that were brought in by the UK government many years ago. The government introduced the regulations under the Health and Safety at Work Act as part of a commitment to reducing the risk of injury in the workplace. More specifically, LOLER governs how heavy lifting equipment, in particular, is used for work purposes.
The regulations set out a strict set of requirements that businesses and their employees must always follow. It provides a legal responsibility to ensure the safety of themselves and others while using heavy lifting equipment. Failure to do so can lead to serious consequences including heavy fines and suspension. In cases relating to serious injury or death, those deemed responsible have even faced jail time.
Ultimately, LOLER is there to make sure that heavy lifting equipment is used appropriately, and that the equipment is maintained to a legal standard. For example, an employee using a machine without having first received adequate training would result in a breach of the regulations. An important method in which LOLER is regulated is through LOLER inspections. Similar to an annual MOT, a LOLER inspection is the process of a qualified inspector examining the equipment and the procedures that are in place. The inspector must come to the conclusion that the lifting equipment meets the required standards and that it is being used in a suitable way by trained employees. LOLER inspections should be carried out every 6 or 12 months dependent on the type of equipment.
How does LOLER affect the haulage industry?
In any industry where heavy lifting equipment may be used, LOLER is certain to apply. The haulage industry is without doubt one of the most obvious industries to be impacted by LOLER. Haulage is the process of transporting goods from one location to another, so naturally lifting equipment must be used to load and unload heavy goods. An example of heavy lifting equipment that may be used for haulage purposes is that of a tail lift. A tail lift is a mechanical device at the rear of a truck or van that enables smooth loading and unloading from ground to vehicle bed and vice versa. Therefore, failure to comply with LOLER can lead to tail lift accidents such as falls and crushes.
Does COVID-19 impact the LOLER regulations?
The current climate may be difficult due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, but that doesn’t mean that you should let off your guard. If anything, now more than ever is an important time to protect the healthcare system from becoming overwhelmed with preventable cases. The haulage industry is still very much alive and kicking with demand for deliveries at an all-time high. At present the government has not relaxed the LOLER regulations. If your business is still actively using heavy lifting equipment, you should ensure that the regulations are maintained and that regular LOLER inspections are carried out.