LOLER Inspections & Certificates Explained

Those working in construction face a variety of risks, on a daily basis. Lifting equipment, like any other equipment, can deteriorate or malfunction, potentially becoming dangerous for operators and those in the immediate vicinity. LOLER inspections and certificates ensure that it doesn’t reach this stage and lifting equipment remains safe to use.


What is LOLER?

LOLER stands for Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998. These regulations govern the safety of lifting equipment, ensuring it’s functioning correctly and does not pose any kind of risk.

In short, being LOLER-compliant means that the equipment can be safely operated where and how the company intends to use it.

To signify that lifting equipment meets LOLER standards, it will be issued with a LOLER certificate.

What lifting equipment needs a LOLER inspection and certificate? 

  • Cranes
  • Fork-lift trucks
  • Cherry pickers
  • Telehandlers
  • Motor vehicle lifts
  • Scissor lifts
  • Hoists
  • Elevated work platforms
  • Vehicle tail lifts
  • Cranes attached to vehicles
  • Attachments for supporting, fixing and anchoring
  • Chains
  • Slings
  • Eyebolts


How often should LOLER inspections be carried out?

As a rule, it’s wise to undertake a LOLER inspection every 6 to 12 months, depending upon the specific equipment and its use. For example, if the equipment lifts people, it’ll require more frequent inspections – usually every 6 months instead of 12 months.

Outside of routine inspections though, what requires a LOLER inspection to be undertaken?

The first inspection should be before the equipment’s first use. It will also need to be checked if disassembled and reassembled at a new site. This will make sure the components came through transportation intact and still fit together properly – and ensure that the new environment is suitable for the operation of the equipment.

If a LOLER certificate (if you have one) is set to expire, it’s obviously time for an inspection. Alternatively, it may be that a piece of equipment has signs of serious wear or some component piece has broken off. Or perhaps those operating the machinery have noticed it’s not working as it should. In any of these scenarios, the equipment should not be used and a LOLER inspection should be prioritised.


What areas are covered in LOLER inspections?

Simply put, LOLER inspections make certain that lifting machinery is fit to use. Obvious defects and problems will be the first thing an inspector will notice. The strength and stability of the equipment also comes under scrutiny.

In addition to the equipment itself, however, LOLER inspections also examine the area where the machinery will be used and the protocols in place for doing so, as well as the suitability of the designated operator. They’ll pay attention to the positioning and installation of the equipment, as well as how it’s stored when not in use.

Who can carry out LOLER inspections?

The individual carrying out a LOLER inspection can be somebody working for your company, but they must be able to practise independent judgement and cannot be the same person who performs regular maintenance on the equipment. Of course, they must have the correct knowledge, training and experience to check the equipment for faults.


Why are LOLER inspections and certificates important?

Equipment can be faulty even when brand new, and wear and tear will always take its toll, so LOLER inspections are an absolute necessity – throughout the equipment’s lifecycle.

LOLER inspections can help to protect the equipment itself and extend its lifecycle, by picking up on faults before they become a problem. Yet more important than that is the safety of those operating the equipment, as well as those who could be in danger should it fail. Lifting equipment can cause both falls and injuries from falling objects, potentially resulting in serious injuries or even fatalities.

How do you get a LOLER certificate?

If you have your equipment inspected by a professional LOLER inspector, they’ll provide you with a LOLER certificate. But if someone from your own company carries out the inspection, you’ll still need to keep a record of the date of the inspection, as well as the make and serial number of the equipment.

And how long does a LOLER certificate last? Well that depends upon the item itself: equipment used for lifting people, for instance, should be checked every six months.