If you work in an industry that requires your equipment to be LOLER inspected and serviced, you’ll know that the regulations can be ambiguous and so may find yourself asking questions like:
Can someone in-house, like my maintenance team, carry out our LOLER inspections?
Can my service and maintenance provider also carry out a LOLER inspection?
Should my insurance provider perform a LOLER inspection?
Medaco has been working as a service and maintenance provider of patient handling equipment since the regulations began in 1998. Therefore, we have been asked these questions many times by our customers. We thought we would provide some guidance on the regulations to help your understanding.
Check out this blog post for more information on what equipment is covered under the LOLER regulations.
Who can carry out a LOLER Inspection?
The LOLER regulations state that a thorough examination must be carried out by a competent person, who is sufficiently independent and impartial to allow objective decisions to be made.
To break this down, a competent person, as defined by the LOLER Approved Code of Practice and Guidance (Regulation 9) is someone who has the necessary skills, experience and knowledge to perform the task. The task is to thoroughly examine and detect defects or weaknesses and to assess their importance concerning the safety and continued use of the lifting equipment.
Someone who is sufficiently independent and impartial is exactly that; they are independent of the company that owns and operates the equipment and impartial to any gains made from keeping the equipment running. They must be able to complete in-house examinations without fear or favour.
So your service and maintenance provider is sufficiently independent and impartial, as they have nothing to gain by passing a piece of equipment that should fail.
The regulations state that “where the thorough examination is undertaken by the same person who has maintained the equipment, a risk assessment should show you have considered all the options, how you reached your decision about who should carry out these functions, and also show that the person is suitably qualified and independent to the extent that would be required for another competent person”.
This means your service provider can carry out both the LOLER inspection and service your equipment providing a risk assessment of this condition has been carried out by both the care operator and the service provider. Some care operators request their service provider uses different engineers to carry out their LOLER Inspections and Annual Service visits which can be accommodated if required.
Another option is for you to use your insurance provider to complete the LOLER inspections, which some care facilities will have as part of their insurance policy. They will also provide someone competent, independent and impartial. Should they identify any further work or safety issues, they will pass this information on to your service and maintenance provider for action.
Who can carry out an annual service?
PUWER states “maintenance work should only be undertaken by those who are competent to do the work, who have been provided with sufficient information, instruction and training.”
For high-risk or complex equipment, such as those within care environments, maintenance must be undertaken by the manufacturer or authorised contractors on their behalf.
Manufacturers of patient handling equipment will usually provide their statement on this in the user manual:
Don’t forget your basic maintenance checks
Nevertheless, maintenance and care teams can and should carry out basic maintenance and regular checks in between PPM visits to ensure the lifespan of their equipment is prolonged. We have prepared some basic maintenance tips which can be followed in this blog, with a video and downloadable poster.
How can Medaco help?
If you are still unsure of the regulations and how they affect your business, give the team at Medaco a call. We are more than happy to advise customers on the safe and effective management of their patient handling equipment, from planned preventative maintenance to advising on inspection schedules.
Medaco has fully trained and competent engineers across the country who carry out thorough examinations of patient lifting equipment in care homes, hospitals and SEND Schools. We are also fully trained in the service and maintenance of different manufacturers’ equipment so can carry out your PPM work too.