No piece of equipment is designed to last forever (yet), and while some things have many years of service life, they suffer natural wear and tear over the years. This is even more so with equipment such as lifting equipment, which can be under a great deal of stress and strain every single day.

When this type of equipment is working with heavy loads that could pose a potential risk to those that are working with it, it’s absolutely crucial to consider safety as one of your highest priorities. This is why regular testing, inspection and certification on lifting equipment form part of the law in the UK. We’ve outlined everything that you need to know on this in the infographic and article below.

Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 (LOLER)

LOLER is perhaps the most commonly referenced source material in the lifting equipment industry, and despite being formed as guidelines and regulations back in 1998, its rules still stand just as firm now, almost two decades on.

LOLER isn’t technically a law, but it forms part of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 (among various other pieces of legislation), so if you break the guidelines in LOLER, then you’ll be breaking the law.


These are just some of the signs that you should be on the lookout for with lifting equipment

The content that’s laid out in LOLER, as well as our own recommendations from numerous years of experience in the industry, is what will form the basis for the foundations of this article.

Why do you need to regularly test and inspect your equipment?

As we said above, all equipment will suffer wear and tear during its lifetime. Most pieces of lifting equipment have a maximum breaking limit (MBL), which is the maximum weight that they can handle, and a safe working load (SWL), which is a limit well below the MBL. If you stick within the boundaries of the SWL then you will greatly prolong the service life of your lifting equipment, but it is still going to naturally decline over time. It’s not like a good wine, unfortunately, they don’t get better with age!

For lifting accessories that aren’t actually doing any lifting or lowering, and therefore don’t need a MBL or SWL, they are still working in high pressure environments that may also contain hazardous chemicals or corrosive substances.

Regularly testing your equipment will ensure that it’s still in great working shape, and regular inspections will give you an idea of how your equipment is doing, and allow you to see if there are any causes for concern. Getting certification after a successful inspection will further validate the safe use of your equipment, keep you on the right side of the law, and also allow you to sell your equipment much easier should you wish to do this.

How regularly should you test and inspect your lifting equipment?

LOLER recommends that you test and inspect all lifting equipment at least once every 12 months and any equipment which is used to lift people must be inspected at least every 6 months, but we personally recommend that you perform tests and inspections much more regularly than this; as often as you can.


Having your equipment inspected is part of the law

A test will likely be done more regularly than an inspection, as there’s no doubt you’ll be needing to use your lifting equipment in between inspections. With this, you just need to test that the equipment is working as smoothly as when you first purchased it!

The inspections, on the other hand, need to be more thorough, and you’ll need to check every nook and cranny to make sure that nothing is out of place. However, we would recommend that you leave all inspections and testing up to the experts, as this is also how you will get your new certification too.

There’s no harm with you performing your own inspections every once in a while, but make sure you get a professional inspection at least once a year. We’d be more than happy to assist you with this, and you can read more on this service here.

What certification will you receive for your inspected lifting equipment?

Once your equipment has been tested and given the green light, you’ll receive an up-to-date certification to show that your lifting equipment is okay to use. This certification is approved and supplied by the Lifting Equipment Engineers Association (LEEA).

Lifting Equipment Testing, Inspection and Certification Infographic

We hope you are enjoying this guide to the 1998 LOLER legislation and all aspects of how this affects day to day operation of lifting equipment. To help with the easy digestion of all the information contained here we have provided this infographic which encapsulates everything we have said in a visually impacting and informative format.

[caption id="attachment_1830" align="alignnone" width="1201"]Lifting Equipment Testing, Inspection and Certification Infographic Lifting Equipment Testing, Inspection and Certification Infographic from Lifting Gear Direct.[/caption]

Please feel free to embed this infographic into your own pages, all we ask is that you provide a link back to our site as recognition of the source. Please link to :

Looking to test, inspect or certify your lifting equipment?

It’s crucial that you factor the testing, inspection, and certification of your lifting equipment into the planning of any lifting operation. If you want to find out more about how you can prolong the service life of your gear, have noticed a fault that needs fixing, or just want a professional inspection performed, then we’re here to help.

You can either give us a call on 01384 76961 or you can get in contact with us here.

Image credit: geralt