LOLER thorough examinations - what if they become overdue?
You should use as many measures as you possibly can to ensure that any lifting equipment is still safe to use. This can include the following:
- Ask yourself if the use of the equipment is essential? Can alternative equipment with a current report of thorough examination be used instead?
- In the case of passenger lifts, can staircases be used instead?
- Is the condition of the equipment is deemed acceptable from its operational history and visual pre-use checks? Nobody is expecting the person carrying out these checks checking to have full engineering understanding, but additional items such as the visual condition of chains and forks on lift trucks could also be implemented for example.
- Service providers may not be able to visit promptly due to prioritising their visits, but as a minimum the provider should be contacted for an update on timescales and details of this contact should be kept.
Above all, where any doubt exists regarding the integrity of the equipment, then it should be quarantined and an alternative found wherever possible.
The measures described above can go some way to showing that reasonably practicable steps are being taken to ensure that all obligations are being met.
Training e.g. lift truck refresher training
If someone's training 'expires' i.e. goes beyond the five-year frequency that is suggested in guidance, a simple in-house competency check that they are still operating safely can be performed. This should be undertaken by a trained, experienced operative who has training that is still current. It should also take into account any incidents that may have occurred e.g. damage to racking or near misses due to lack of observation or speeding.
Again, where there is any uncertainty then the individual should be excluded from operating a lift truck until such time that formal refresher training may be delivered. Whatever the case may be, formal training should follow as soon as it is practical for it to be undertaken.