Frequently Asked Questions

What's a LOLER inspection?

A LOLER inspection is the term commonly used, incorrectly, to describe a Thorough Examination. The acronym LOLER stands for ‘Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998’.

These regulations prescribe the format to be used for a Report of Thorough Examination – to keep it simple we try a stick to calling it a Thorough Examination or T/E!

Who can carry out a Thorough Examination?

The legislation refers to a competent person. For the purpose of Thorough Examination a competent person is an experienced service engineer or examiner who meets the general criteria explained in LOLER 98.

For all practical purposes there are two types of person who may carry out a Thorough Examination (their titles may vary):

  • An authorised service engineer (Certified CAP is preferable)
  • An insurance company lifting equipment examiner
What is a 'competent person'?

The LOLER 98 Approved Code of Practice and Guidance (paragraph 294 on competent persons) coined the term ‘competent person’.

It stipulates that the person carrying out the Thorough Examination has the appropriate practical, theoretical knowledge and experience of the lifting equipment being examined, allowing them to detect any defects or weaknesses. The competent person needs to recognise and assess the importance of such defects in relation to the integrity and safe operation of the lifting equipment for continued use.

Although the competent person may often be employed by another organisation, this is not necessary, provided they are sufficiently independent and impartial to ensure that in-house examinations are made without fear or favour.

Can my own engineer carry out a Thorough Examination?

You need to ask yourself  ‘Is your engineer sufficiently independent and impartial to ensure that in-house examinations are made without fear or favour?’ There are a number of important issues here:

  • Someone, who is competent to do so, must authorise the engineer as a competent person for the purpose of conducting Thorough Examinations
  • The engineer must have an appropriate level of experience and training.  We recommend a minimum of 5 years’ experience as a service engineer and successful completion of a industry accredited Thorough Examination course. Further, we recommend revalidation every 5 years
  • The competent person needs to be independent from the routine checks & maintenance
When should a Thorough Examination be carried out?

Thorough Examinations are required throughout the lifetime of the equipment in order to verify that lifting equipment and accessories remain safe for use, and to detect and remedy any deterioration in good time. Examinations should be performed:

  • before use for the first time – unless the equipment has an EC Declaration of Conformity less than one year old and the equipment was not assembled on site. If it was assembled on site, it must be examined by a competent person to ensure that the assembly was completed correctly and safely
  • after assembly and before use at each location – for equipment that requires assembly or installation before use, e.g. tower cranes
  • regularly, while in service – if the equipment is exposed to hostile conditions that cause deterioration and likely to result in dangerous situations. Most lifting equipment will be subject to wear and tear and need regular in-service examination. You have a choice:
    • arrange for thorough examination to be carried out at the intervals specified by LOLER (every 6 or 12 months, depending on the equipment – see below), or
    • conduct examinations in accordance with an examination scheme, drawn up by a competent person
  • following exceptional circumstances – liable to jeopardise the safety of lifting equipment, which may include:
    • damage or failure
    • being out of use for long periods
    • major changes, which are likely to affect the equipment’s integrity (e.g. modifications, or replacement / repair of critical parts)
How often is a Thorough Examination required?

Unless there is an ‘examination scheme’ specifying other intervals, Thorough Examinations should be conducted every:

  • 6 months for lifting equipment and any associated accessories used to lift people
  • 6 months for all lifting accessories
  • 12 months for all other lifting equipment
Will you report any major defects to the local authorities?

Not normally. However, there is a duty to send a copy of the Report of Thorough Examination to the relevant enforcing authority in certain situations. This applies when a defect is identified – which in the opinion of the competent person – involves an existing or imminent risk of serious personal injury.

This requirement is limited to such cases where there would be a risk of serious personal injury arising from failure of the equipment, should anyone attempt to use it.


Really good communication with Claudia in Service, and more than happy with Mike Price the engineer. If this level of service can be maintained throughout the year I will be more than impressed.


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