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Providing quality inspection & testing services   |   Part of the PHSC GROUP

The term ‘competent person’ is not defined in law but the LOLER Approved Code of Practice and guidance (paragraph 296 on competent persons) states that: 

‘You should ensure that the person carrying out a thorough examination has such appropriate practical and theoretical knowledge and experience of the lifting equipment to be thoroughly examined as will enable them to detect defects or weaknesses and to assess their importance in relation to the safety and continued use of the lifting equipment.’ 

They are sufficiently independent and impartial to ensure that examinations are made without fear or favour.  

They should not be the same person who undertakes routine maintenance of the equipment – as they would then be responsible for assessing their own maintenance work. 

This is a systematic and detailed examination of the equipment and safety-critical parts, carried out at specified intervals by a competent person who must then complete a written report. 
In general, LOLER inspections take place at three intervals: 

  • 6 months, for lifting equipment and any associated accessories used to lift people.
  • 6 months, for all lifting accessories.
  • 12 months, for all other lifting equipment. 
LOLER inspections are a legal requirement Thorough LOLER tests should be conducted at least every 12 months on all lifting equipment and 6m on any accessories.
No. Excavators that have a lifting eye and are used for lifting operations are subject to thorough examination. If the only job they do is conventional ‘earth moving’ then the requirements of the Provision of Work Equipment Regulations (PUWER) apply.

Under PUWER there must be an appropriate maintenance regime and an inspection of the machine at intervals specified by a competent person.

However, if the machine is used for lifting then it must be thoroughly examined and additional safety devices must be fitted, including a boom lowering device (usually check valves) and an acoustic warning device. 

LOLER and PUWER legislation is often referred to together because it can overlap. Both sets of regulations apply to workplace equipment, and place duties and requirements on the inspection and installation of equipment.

However, LOLER only applies to lifting equipment. PUWER applies to all equipment. 

They are all the same thing A LOLER inspection is a Thorough Examination of lifting equipment by a qualified or ‘competent’ person, as defined by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

It can also be known as an insurance inspection. 

PSSR regulation 8 places a duty on the user of an installed system and the owner of a mobile system not to allow pressure systems to be used until they have A Written Scheme of Examination (WSE) covering:

  • All protective devices.
  • Every pressure vessel.
  • Every pipeline and pipework in which a defect might give rise to danger. 
All pressure systems containing a relevant fluid larger than 250 bar/litres (25ltr receiver at 10 bar) or any system containing steam must have a ‘written scheme of examination’ and a statutory inspection in accordance with the written scheme. A written scheme of examination is a report that details safety devices and components associated with the systems pressure vessels. 
The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 require that any electrical equipment that has the potential to cause injury is maintained in a safe condition. However, the Regulations do not specify what needs to be done, by whom or how frequently (ie they don’t make inspection or testing of electrical appliances a legal requirement, nor do they make it a legal requirement to undertake this annually).

Employers should take a risk-based approach, considering the type of equipment and what it is being used for. If it is used regularly and moved a lot eg a floor cleaner or a kettle. 

No. The law simply requires an employer to ensure that their electrical equipment is maintained in order to prevent danger. It does not say how this should be done or how often. Employers should take a risk-based approach, considering the type of equipment and what it is being used for.

If it is used regularly and moved a lot eg a floor cleaner or a kettle, testing (along with visual checks) can be an important part of an effective maintenance regime giving employers confidence that they are doing what is necessary to help them meet their legal duties.

HSE provides guidance on how to maintain equipment including the use of PAT. 

HSG 76 Section 646 states: A technically competent person should carry out inspections at intervals of not more than 12 months.

A written report should be submitted to the PRRS (Person Responsible for Raking Safety) with observations and proposals for any action necessary.

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