The Implications of the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations (LOLER) 1998 in Care Homes

Laura Smith

Thursday 25th September 2014

Recent health and safety work by Environmental Health Officers from a North West Local authority has identified problems in relation to compliance with the thorough examination requirements of LOLER. The problem was particularly identified after health and safety audits in a number of sectors where lifting equipment is regularly used. When Officers asked for evidence of lift certification, a large proportion of the certification produced clearly did not comply with the requirements of LOLER, despite the examination certificate in some instances looking very similar to a ‘thorough examination’ and despite the fact that the duty holder believed that they had complied. This research project particularly focused on the implications of LOLER within Care Homes. The overall aim of the project was to gain a further more detailed picture of what compliance levels are in care homes, in relation to ‘thorough examination’ of lifting equipment. Furthermore the aim was to determine if ‘duty holders’ within the residential care home setting, have sufficient knowledge and understanding of the requirements of LOLER in relation to thorough examination of lifting equipment in order to achieve compliance. Overall the research found that compliance levels in relation to ‘thorough examination’ of lifting equipment within care homes was weak. In short the majority of sample ‘thorough examination’ reports returned as part of the research did not fully comply with the Regulations. Also although respondents in the main seem to have some understanding of the Regulations, further work must be done to ensure that awareness and understanding is improved. A main recommendation is to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and local authorities, recommending that they focus a campaign on raising awareness of LOLER and the thorough examination requirement with duty holders.

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