How Often Does Lifting & Hoisting Equipment Need to be Tested?
January 5th, 2022
Last updated: September 21st, 2022
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) reports workplace fatalities, and every year people die in the UK due to faulty mechanical equipment, or equipment falling into disrepair. When it comes to peoples’ lives, there is no excuse for taking any sort of risks and this is one of the reasons why there are restrictions and regulations in place.
It’s vital that all lifting and hoisting equipment is tested as a part of any equipment audit, and regularly as a matter of course. LOLER and PUWER testing are the main HSE legislation that apply to lifting and hoisting equipment. How often should lifting equipment be tested? We explore the frequency in this guide as well as some extra tips on keeping your facilities safe.
LOLER stands for the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations. LOLER is specifically designed to ensure that all equipment used in lifting operations has been properly maintained by a competent person, ensuring it is safe enough to use on site. It incorporates the initial risk assessment of any lifting equipment and the regular maintenance, as well as things like lifting equipment testing frequency.
Who do I need to test my equipment? You may have your own internal team of engineers or technicians who are competent to carry out the testing. If you don’t have someone internally, then it may be worth considering hiring an external specialist engineer. The definition of a “competent” person is left somewhat open to interpretation, but it is fair to say that qualified and accredited professionals should be testing the lifting and hoisting equipment.
HSE guidelines also state that “records must be kept of all thorough examinations and any defects found must be reported to both the person responsible for the equipment and the relevant enforcing authority.”
This is one of the reasons why so many people opt for peace of mind, choosing to work with a facilities services company. At Robinsons Facilities Services, our accredited professionals can take care of:
- Equipment audits.
- Inspection for wear and signs of defects.
- Risk assessments.
- Non destructive testing (dependent on risk assessment).
Our team will help you to meet your legal requirements when it comes to lifting and hoisting equipment, carrying out lifting equipment testing and keeping thorough records for your business to ensure proof that you have met your responsibilities and building compliance.
The responsibility falls on the workplace to ensure that the equipment is in good working order. Tests should be carried out at regular intervals. Many companies go for every six months, although some opt for more regular tests. Annual tests are a bare minimum. Six-monthly tests are a minimum if you are lifting people, this added lifting testing frequency for lifts that carry people is to help to keep staff and visitors in your workplace safe at all times. Of course, lift maintenance and repair are often a matter of operational emergency too.
PUWER stands for the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations. PUWER is a legal requirement that ensures all equipment used in work has been properly maintained, including lifting equipment.
PUWER regulations include ensuring that the equipment in a workplace is “suitable for the intended use” and “maintained in a safe condition and inspected to ensure it is correctly installed and does not subsequently deteriorate”.
While lifting equipment has extra tests (LOLER) it is still subject to the PUWER regulations.
PUWER’s wording states that any deterioration needs to be “detected and remedied within good time”. This may be vague, but in general, regular tests are needed to ensure that your workplace is safe and compliant. We recommend every six months, and PUWER tests can be tied in with LOLER tests as part of an equipment audit.
Though you will clearly understand the minimum testing frequency for lifting and hoisting equipment you should think about how much use the equipment gets. Heavy use means you should keep a closer eye on it and perform more frequent tests if at all possible. Our team are happy to advise on planned preventative maintenance and how often you should plan to carry out these tests.
Ensure Compliance with Robinsons Facilities Services
Robinsons Facilities Services can carry out both LOLER and PUWER inspections and testing to ensure that your workplace is safe and compliant with HSE guidelines.
We can also work with you to design a schedule of inspection and testing, making sure tests are routine and corrective steps can be taken when required.
If you need any repairs to your hoisting equipment, we can also supply the parts and perform the necessary repairs to bring your system up to speed. Working across Yorkshire, we cover North Yorkshire, West Yorkshire, East Yorkshire and South Yorkshire and offer a fast, efficient response time to all breakdowns and repairs. Contact us today for all planned, reactive maintenance or emergency call out.Call 01423 226578 or get in touch to see how Robinsons Facilities Services can help.