LOLER AT CEDARDALE
Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations (LOLER)
For Information on LOLER email firstname.lastname@example.org
See the AIS 30 FACT SHEET Click Here
The LOLER regulations came into force on the 5th of December 1998 and apply to all equipment used in Lifting Operations. In arboriculture this means climbing equipment, lowering equipment, and lifting platforms. Essentially the regulations require equipment lifting people (i.e. ropes, harness, karabiners etc., and Cherry pickers - MEWPs - mobile elevated work platforms) to be thoroughly inspected by a competent person at six monthly intervals, and lowering equipment to be similarly inspected at twelve monthly intervals. Most importantly, LOLER requires accurate records to be kept itemising every component and identifying it with a unique mark.
Many people are worried that this will mean all old gear will need to be replaced. This is NOT the case. LOLER inspections are intended to make sure equipment is safe to use, and suitable for the application. It is quite acceptable to clean and lubricate a dragging karabiner lock, shorten a climbing rope to remove a frayed or cut section (but obviously not to re-seal an end snapped through overload ), or indeed to return a harness to the manufacturer for re-stitching or repair, just so long as the item is safe for use when presented for inspection. It should be understood that maintenance like this must be done on a day to day basis and not left until the inspection (this would indicate a breakdown in good working practice and a failure to work to acceptable safety standards). Guidelines for the lifespan of ropes and harnesses are 2 and 5 years respectively, but these are guidelines for equipment in daily use and an examiner is at liberty to exercise his discretion. If a harness is only used a few times a year and is in pristine condition it is unlikely to be failed after five years.
Marking equipment should not cause any problems. Most equipment suppliers carry items such as heat-shrink tubing, permanent marker pens, and most DIY stores can supply an engraving tool at a reasonable price. Some items will carry manufacturer’s serial numbers and others will need to be marked. You can make up your own code numbers but DO make a note of them so you know what to use when you replace or add to your equipment, and DO make sure when engraving karabiners etc., that it is done on a non load bearing part (for instance on the hinge end of the barrel ). Equipment that was marked before but has lost its mark for one reason or another can be re-marked with a new code. If you get into the habit of marking equipment and recording your codes you will save your LOLER inspector a good deal of time, and therefore save yourself money.
A competent person is someone who has attended a recognised course and achieved certification for LOLER inspection. Whilst it is possible to get yourself certificated to inspect your own equipment, the time and expense of the course often means that it is preferable to have an outside organisation do the job for you. CEDARDALE near Hartley Wintney is one such organization. They are primarily an Arboricultural Association approved contractor but also offer full workshop facilities for saws, brushcutters, blowers etc., and independent LOLER inspections. CEDARDALE do not normally supply any climbing equipment and are therefore able to carry out inspections without any conflict of interests.
They can be contacted on 01256 763162. MEWPs should be inspected by a specialist engineer, usually through a lifting platform supplier.
The Health and Safety Executive have prepared a very useful information sheet on the subject of LOLER ( Leaflet Number AIS 30 ) and this is available by clicking here - See LOLER AIS 30 PDF
Simon Coombes our Technical Director and qualified Safety Officer may be able to offer assistantce if you are having difficulties with your health and safety policy and generic risk assessments