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February 9, 2011

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Employers given LOLER compliance warning

The Lifting Equipment Engineers Association (LEEA) is warning employers that they could pay a high price for neglecting lifting equipment.

The warning follows two recent court cases, in which companies that failed to carry out regular examinations on their lifting equipment. On 8 January, the former owner of a pub in West Bromwich was fined £27,000 after being found guilty of failing to make necessary checks on cellar lifting gear. Nine days later, A Catholic charity set up to help the blind was fined £18,000 after an elderly patient was killed when a sling failed as she was being lifted out of bed.
 
LEEA chief executive, Geoff Holden, believes that these cases highlight the importance of complying with LOLER, which require lifting equipment to be subjected to thorough periodic examinations. He said: “These cases emphasise the potential consequences if employers do not respect their legal obligations when it comes to lifting equipment. Under LOLER, even simple items, such as manual hoists and slings must be subject to regular checks.
 
“In the case of relatively straightforward items, such as the equipment which was involved in these two cases, thorough examination is unlikely to be a particularly time consuming or expensive operation. However, it must be done by a genuinely independent and competent person, and a written report of the thorough examination kept on file by the employer.”
 
The LEEA recently began issuing ‘TEAM’ (Test, Examination And Maintain) identity cards to engineers who have passed industry-recognised diploma examinations. The Association is urging employers to ask workers to present their cards before allowing them to test, examine, or maintain lifting equipment.
 
For more information, download the HSE approved code of practice for LOLER.

Approaches to managing the risks associated Musculoskeletal disorders

In this episode of the Safety & Health Podcast, we hear from Matt Birtles, Principal Ergonomics Consultant at HSE’s Science and Research Centre, about the different approaches to managing the risks associated with Musculoskeletal disorders.

Matt, an ergonomics and human factors expert, shares his thoughts on why MSDs are important, the various prevalent rates across the UK, what you can do within your own organisation and the Risk Management process surrounding MSD’s.

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