As an employer, you have an obligation under the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations (LOLER) 1998 to be aware of the information that needs to be recorded during thorough examinations of your lifting equipment and about the timescales that these records and other documents need to be kept for.
Effective record keeping has a number of benefits, the main one being it will assist you with the appropriate management of your lifting equipment and help you prove its compliance & safety to the relevant authorities, if necessary.
What are your obligations?
Under Regulation 11 of LOLER, you have an obligation as a duty holder to keep your initial examination reports relating to supply of all lifting equipment for the life of the machine.
Typical examples include initial thorough examination and test reports or the Maker’s/Supplier’s EU Declarations of Conformity. Such reports or certificates should remain with the machine, even when the lifting equipment is bought or sold [LOLER regulation 9(1) examination requirements provide the detail].
Further, an initial examination report is also required when safety of new lifting equipment depends on the installation conditions, or when equipment is reinstalled at a new location [a requirement of LOLER regulation 9(2)]. These reports should be kept for as long as the lifting equipment is affixed and used at that location.
Regulation 11 of LOLER also requires duty holders to ensure In-service & ongoing thorough examination reports and records of inspection be kept for periods that vary on the type of examination undertaken. They should also keep any findings of such examinations [LOLER 9(3) details in-service examination and inspection requirements for lifting equipment].
All records must be readily available for the relevant enforcement authority and others to review. They also need to be secure and you should be capable to reproduce them in a written form.
What records do you need to keep under LOLER?
There are three types of records you are required to keep under Regulation 9 of the LOLER regulations. These include:
Reports of Thorough Examination
These include formal statements by Competent Persons of the outcomes and findings of the thorough examinations that have been conducted on your lifting equipment. Initial thorough examinations aim to confirm the equipment is ‘in fact safe to use’, while periodic in-service thorough examinations aim to confirm the equipment ‘remains safe to use’.
EC Declaration of Conformity
This is a declaration whereby the manufacturer ‘claims’ that the equipment being placed on the market is ‘infact safe to use’, in so far as it satisfies the requirements of the appropriate ‘Supply’ legislation. For at least the last 20 years, manufacturers or suppliers of new lifting equipment have had to comply with the Machinery Directive (implemented in the UK, in the first instance, by the Supply of Machinery (Safety) Regulations 1992), or the Lifts Directive (first implemented in the UK by the Lifts Regulations 1997). In both cases they were intended to issue a Declaration of Conformity for each item of lifting equipment and to affix a CE marking accordingly.
Records of Inspection
Inspections may be required to be undertaken between thorough examinations. The nature and frequency of an Inspection regime may be based on maker’s instructions and the risk of critical equipment failure that could lead to danger. This to ensure any defect can be detected in good time. Such inspections may include daily/weekly operator checks, periodic maintenance checks etc.
How long should you keep records for?
The timescale of how long you should keep any records under LOLER depends on the type of lifting equipment and its use. Generally, you will need to keep every report for an inspection in the case of:
- An initial thorough examination report of lifting equipment made prior to first use under LOLER regulation 9(1), or, an EU Declaration of Conformity Certificate made under the Lifts Directive or Machinery Directive, until you cease to use the lifting equipment
- An initial thorough examination report made prior to first use at a location when safety depends on the installation conditions under regulation 9(2), until the lifting equipment is no longer used at the place it was installed or assembled
- An In-service thorough examination of a lifting equipment made under regulation 9(3)(a) until the next thorough examination is completed under that same clause or the expiration of 2 years, whichever is later
- All reports and notifications containing defects that is, or could become, a danger to persons should be held until the next report of that type and nature is made; and
- A record of in-service Inspection made under regulation 9(3)(b) in between thorough examination should be kept available until the next such report has been made.
It is beneficial to keep lifting equipment reports for longer periods, especially those that contain repeated defects. This would be considered good management with regards the scope/structure of the inspection & maintenance regimes, as well as the identification of trends & weaknesses.
Records can be held electronically.
When copies are not held on the premises where the equipment is being used then copies should be readily accessible for employees working at those premises.
What information should be included in your thorough examination?
There a number of essential details that need to be included in your thorough examination report in order for it to be deemed compliant with the LOLER regulations. These details include the following:
- Your name and address, or the person for whom the thorough examination is being completed
- The address of the premises
- Details identifying the equipment, such as date of manufacturing
- Date of the last thorough examination
- The safe working load of the equipment
- In relation to the first thorough examination - that it is such an examination, that it has been correctly installed and is in fact safe to use
- In relation to an in-service thorough examination - that it is such an examination e.g.: within an interval of 6 months, 12 months, in accordance with an examination scheme or after a dangerous occurrence and that it is safe for continued use
- In relation to any thorough examination, the examination report should contain information on:
- Any defects that may pose a danger to persons, details of the repair, renewal or alteration relating to the defect and the time in which remedial action is required
- Details of any tests used to support the examination
- The latest date by which the next thorough examination needs to be carried out by
- The date of the thorough examination
- The name, address and qualification of the Engineer Surveyor; and
- The date of the report.
At British Engineering Services, we have extensive experience in conducting Examination, Inspections and Testing of lifting equipment under the LOLER regulations. Out of the expertise of our team of highly qualified Engineer Surveyors we created an easy to read guide ‘Everything you need to know about your LOLER lifting equipment inspection duties’ to help you comply with the regulations and ensure the safety of your employees, your company’s operations and reputation.