LOLER - An Overview

By Fiona Burns
10 Aug 2021

LOLER is an Acronym for Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998.

It's a set of regulations that place a duty on people and companies who own, operate, or have control over lifting equipment. All lifting operations involving lifting equipment must be properly planned by a competent person. They must also be appropriately supervised and carried out in a safe manner.


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'. A 'load' is the item or items being lifted, which includes a person or people.  All Lifting operations must have an associated lift plan. This must mitigate any conditions that could endanger the employee or others in the area.

Please note any failure of Lifting Equipment may be reportable as a dangerous occurrence under RIDDOR.

What is lifting equipment?

'Lifting equipment' means work equipment for lifting and lowering loads. This includes lifting accessories and attachments used for anchoring, fixings or supporting the equipment.

Brief list of lifting equipment include:

  • Overhead cranes and their supporting runways
  • Patient hoists
  • Motor vehicle lifts
  • Vehicle tail lifts and cranes fitted to vehicles
  • A building cleaning cradle and its suspension equipment
  • Goods and passenger lifts
  • Telehandlers and forklifts
  • Lifting accessories

Lifting accessories are defined as:

“Pieces of equipment used to attach the load to lifting equipment, providing a link between the two.”

Consider lifting accessories when determining the overall weight of the load.

Examples of lifting accessories include:

  • Fibre or rope slings
  • Chains (single or multiple leg)
  • Hooks
  • Eyebolts
  • Spreader beams
  • Magnetic and vacuum devices

Marking of lifting equipment

All lifting equipment, including accessories, must be clearly marked. This is to indicate their 'safe working loads' (SWL) - the maximum load the equipment can safely lift.

Sometimes, the SWL of equipment or accessories depends on its configuration. In these cases, the information provided on the SWL must reflect all potential configurations. For example, if the hook of an engine hoist can be moved to different positions, the SWL should be shown for each position.

In some cases, the information should be kept with the lifting machinery. For example, the rated capacity indicator fitted to a crane, showing the operator the SWL for any of the crane's permitted lifting configurations.

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

Where equipment is to be used to lift people, it should be marked to indicate the number of people that can be lifted in addition to the SWL of the equipment.

Lifting equipment which is not designed for lifting people - but which might be used this way in error - must be clearly marked to indicate it should not be used to lift people.

How often should a LOLER Inspection be carried out?

All lifting equipment must have a thorough inspection carried out under LOLER.  The time frame for these differs depending on the Equipment as follows:

  • Any lifting equipment or associated accessories used to lift people - every six months. Examples are:
    • Access platforms, passenger lifts and window cleaning equipment
  • For all lifting accessories - Every six months Examples are:
    • Lifting chains, strops, eye bolts, specialist lifting attachments
  • For all other lifting equipment - Every twelve months. For example
    • Overhead or pillar cranes, forklift trucks, lifting Jacks (anything that is not used to lift people).


Anyone who uses or inspects lifting must have been given suitable and sufficient instruction and training to carry out these functions and the training records kept for inspection.

Expert support

If you need further guidance on LOLER, or any other health & safety process, speak to one of our experts today on 01455 858 132.

About the Author

Fiona Burns

Fiona Burns has practical experience in Health & Safety and Risk Management having worked for major insurer prior to joining Croner.

She has gained extensive helpline experience offering competent advice and timely support to large number of clients, in various industries and at all levels.  Completed the NEBOSH General Certificate, also passed NEBOSH Environmental Diploma Unit A, (IOSH Managing Environmental responsibilities). NEBOSH Fire and Risk Management Certificate, FPA Advance Fire Training, NCRQ Diploma – Distinction currently completing IPD and volunteering for Community project in Atherstone also as a Dementia support worker with CWPT.


Fiona Burns

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