What is the Current Legislation for Lifting Equipment?

If you have a tail lift you must comply with PUWER (the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998) and LOLER (Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998). There has been much confusion throughout the tail lift industry regarding the interpretation of the LOLER and PUWER regulations since they came into force on 05th December 1998.
Put very simply, PUWER covers all equipment that is used by an employee at work, while LOLER is a more specific regulation, which covers all equipment that involves lifting people and goods at work.

Tail lifts are both work and lifting equipment, therefore, users must comply with both sets of regulations.

In the UK the enforcement authority for these regulations is the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and the responsibility is placed on the employer to ensure the safety of operators when using Equipment at work.

Non-compliance with LOLER and PUWER puts the safety of operators at risk and is considered a breach of UK criminal law, carrying penalties of substantial fines or periods of imprisonment. As well as this, insurance cover could be invalid if maintenance is not found to be in line with this legislation.

What exactly needs to be done to ensure that I am compliant with the regulations?

PUWER states that all work equipment must be suitable for the purpose for which it is used and LOLER stipulates the need for regular “thorough examinations” of lifting equipment by a “competent person”.

A thorough examination will focus on the condition of the lifting gear and load bearing components etc. It will be recorded as a formal report. : LOLER also states that equipment may require inspection by a competent person at suitable intervals between thorough examinations to ensure that safety conditions are maintained and that any deterioration can be detected and remedied in good time.

How Often Does Equipment Need a Thorough Examination?

Tail lift users need to ensure that Thorough Examinations are carried out at various stages during the life of the equipment, including:

When put into service for the first time
When there have been exceptional circumstances that may have affected the safety of the lift, e.g. if the lift has been involved in an accident
On a regular basis throughout the life of the lift. This specified period is at least every 6 months for lifts that carry persons and at least every 12 months for all other lifts. Tail lifts should be regarded as “lifting equipment for lifting persons” since the Operative invariably stands on the platform during its operation.

Inspection, Service, Test and Examination: What’s the Difference?

An Inspection:
A visual check of the condition of the lift, which can identify any potential safety hazards.

Tail lift servicing covers general maintenance such as topping up of oil, water and battery levels or greasing of mechanical equipment.

Weight Test:
A means of assessing the performance of the lift, whereby it is checked under controlled conditions to ensure that it is capable of safely lifting the load that it is designed to hold.

A Thorough Examination:
This determines the overall condition of the lifting equipment and may incorporate all of the above. This should include an in-depth investigation of external and internal components. The results of a Thorough Examination must be fully documented and kept available for inspection. Should the Examination discover any dangerous defect in the equipment, it must not be used until the problem is rectified.

The TTS Approach?
Truck and Trailer Services (Telford) Limited are committed to providing a complete tail lift maintenance service to ensure that your equipment is always at its optimum condition and to ensure that you are up-to-date with LOLER and PUWER requirements.

Our TTS service engineers are fully trained and qualified to LOLER standards to carry out all tail lift inspections, services, weight tests and thorough examinations.

Maintenance can be set up on a fixed price contract that includes the following:
Every 6 weeks Operational Check Greasing of mechanical components
Every 24 weeks Full LOLER Thorough Examination
Every 52 weeks Full LOLER Thorough Examination, annual weight test, oil change and service.