Use of lifting equipment on farms is governed by the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 (LOLER) which aim to ensure equipment is functional, well maintained and used safely.
The regulations apply to individuals and companies that own, operate or have control of lifting equipment. Where employees are using lifting equipment the onus of responsibility is on the employer.
LOLER covers forklifts, telehandlers, tractor front-loaders (and lifting attachments), along with block and rope hoists. Standalone and vehicle-mounted cranes are also covered.
How often are inspections needed?
This depends on the use of the machine:
- Any equipment used for lifting people must be inspected every 6 months.
- All other lifting equipment must be inspected every 12 months.
Keeping a record of inspections is essential.
If you are buying new equipment which has had a Declaration of Conformity (DOC) before being listed for sale, it will not need an inspection before its first use. However, it will need to be inspected every 6 or 12 months after purchase.
Ensure lifting equipment is used appropriately and operated by trained, competent people:
- Lifting equipment should be marked with its safe working load.
- Where the machine's configuration dictates its safe working load (e.g. with a telehandler), there must be clearly visible information to keep both machine and loads within safe working limits.
- People should only be lifted on work equipment which is specifically designed for that purpose and never with telehandler buckets, potato boxes, forklift forks or similar.
- Forklifts and front-loader tractors without driver protection need to be inspected.
If you would like to discuss LOLER regulations and arrange an inspection of your lifting equipment, please email LossPrevention@cornishmutual.co.uk