SC26 - Lifting
06 Dec 2010



Safe Use of Lifting Equipment


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 BiteSize SHE (Code summary)




Initial launch​
March 2010
1.1Update refresher frequencyOctober 2011
1.2Minor change to para 4.4.1November 2011
1.3Minor change to para 4.6January 2012
1.4Add references to audit checklist and change to definitions of lifts in 3.7, 8 and 9June 2013
Add Document retention policy Appendix
August 2014
Update due to new HSE ACoP and to include climbing harnesses
August 2015
Added table of acronyms in Section 3.
Changes to 3.13; 4.2.1; and 4.3.2
January 2016
Change to para 4.3.4
October 2016
​Minor update to reflect the launch of SHE Assure
​October 2018

1. Purpose

The failure and/or misuse of lifting equipment has the potential to cause serious personal injury, significant damage to property and loss of time and money. Failure of any load-bearing part of any lifting equipment is reportable to the Health and Safety Executive as a Dangerous Occurrence under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (1995) (RIDDOR). The STFC has over 5000 registered items of lifting equipment.

The failure and/or misuse of lifting equipment is to a large extent preventable, and STFC aims to proactively manage the risks associated with the purchase, storage and use of lifting equipment and lifting accessories.

With regard to lifting equipment and lifting accessories, the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations (1998) (LOLER) require the STFC to:

  • Ensure that lifting operations are planned, supervised and carried out in a safe manner by people who are competent;
  • Provide lifting equipment and accessories that are suitable, stable and have sufficient strength;
  • Mark Safe Working Loads [SWL] on lifting equipment and accessories; and
  • Thoroughly examine and inspect lifting equipment and accessories and keep reports of these examinations and any defects that are found.

These principal legal duties regarding lifting equipment and lifting accessories are contained in LOLER 1998, but duties are also imposed by the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974; Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999; Workplace (Health, Safety & Welfare) Regulations 1992; and Provision and use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998. BS 7121-1:2006 Code of Practice for Safe Use of Cranes has been used in the preparation of this code

This code seeks to establish consistent standards across all STFC sites, and provides guidelines on the responsibilities of relevant STFC personnel involved. A LOLER Decision Tree has been issued by HSE and is presented in Appendix 1. Summary process flowcharts are presented in Appendix 2.

2. Scope

This code applies to all staff, contractors, visitors, users and tenants using lifting equipment and accessories on STFC sites.

This code applies to the design, purchase, registration, user inspection, thorough examination, use and maintenance of all lifting equipment and accessories at STFC sites, including in-house designed and constructed lifting equipment and accessories.

Lifting equipment and lifting accessories introduced by visitors, facility users, tenants and contractors to STFC sites are also within the scope of this code.

This code also addresses the registration, inspection and testing of Mobile Elevating Work Platforms (MEWPs), lifts and Fork Lift Trucks, however their safe use is addressed by other specific codes.

For the purposes of this SHE Code fall arrest, fall restraint and climbing harnesses should be considered lifting equipment and subject to the statutory inspection programme established for Lifting Equipment and Lifting Accessories

3. Definitions

3.1 Acronyms used in this document
LELA​Lifting Equipment and Lifting Accessories
LELifting Equipment
LALifting Accessories
HSEHealth and Safety Executive
ACoPApproved Code of Practice
LOLERLifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations
RIDDORReporting of Incidents, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations
PUWERProvision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations
SWLSafe Working Load 
WLLWorking Load Limit
MEWPMobile Elevating Working Platform
FLTFork Lift Truck
CoCCertificate of Conformity 
LLOLifting Liaison Officer
3.2 Lifting Equipment and Lifting Accessories

"Lifting Equipment", or Lifting Appliances, is work equipment for lifting or lowering loads, including people, and attachments used for anchoring, fixing or supporting it. This includes lifting machines, fork lift trucks, passenger / goods lifts, Mobile Elevating Work Platforms, mobile cranes, overhead cranes, blocks and pulleys, pallet trucks etc. and handling and turnover rigs.

"Lifting Accessories" are work equipment for attaching loads to machinery for lifting and include chain slings, eyebolts, fibre/nylon slings, wire rope slings, lifting/runway beams, lifting frames etc. This list is not exhaustive.

Excluded from these definitions are lifting points or brackets which are permanently fixed to equipment, which support rather than lift. They must be designed to have adequate strength for the purpose intended but will not be registered or in anyway be treated as Lifting Equipment.

3.3 Mobile Crane

Any crane which, by means of road wheels or crawler tracks, can be moved from one location to another. This may include a suspended load.

3.4 Crane

Any crane which is not mobile, including pillar, jib and overhead travelling cranes.

3.5 Load

Includes any material, people or animals that are lifted or lowered by lifting equipment.

3.6 Examination Scheme

A suitable scheme drawn up by a competent person for the thorough examination of lifting equipment at appropriate intervals for the purposes of regulation 9 (3) of LOLER.

3.7 Thorough Examination

Under regulation 9 of LOLER, "thorough examination" means examination by a competent person independent of the equipment and its use.

3.8 Basic Lift

A lifting operation where the weight of the load(s) can be simply established, using fixed lifting points or lifting frames and where there are no hazards or obstructions within the area of the operation.

3.9 Standard Lift

A lifting operation where there are hazards, either within the working area of the crane or on the access route to the working area, but no multiple crane lifting is required and the load has fixed lifting points or is easy to sling.

3.10 Complex Lift

A lifting operation which requires more complicated slinging, or more than one crane to lift the load, or cranes using load enhancement equipment, lifting of persons or when the lifting operation is at a location with exceptional hazards.

3.11 Safe Working Load

The Safe Working Load denotes the maximum weight which a piece of LELA is certified, by a Competent Person, to raise, lower or suspend. This may be less than the design load (Working Load Limit).

3.12 Crane Supervisor

A person who controls the lifting operation, and ensures it is carried out in accordance with the appointed person's lifting plan.

3.13 LOLER Manager

Departments may appoint one or more LOLER managers (also referred to as Nominated Lifting Engineers) to undertake the responsibilities set out in this code following suitable training. Where appropriate, this appointment may be made at a site level by the relevant Director responsible for SHE in consultation with other Directors. The LOLER Manager is considered to be the Appointed Person for the use of mobile cranes as detailed in BS7121.

3.14 Lifting Liaison Officer

A experienced LELA user with at least the 'standard' level of training detailed in Appendix 3.

3.15 LELA User

Competent individual trained and experienced to use LELA and undertake lifts as detailed in Appendix 3.

4 Responsibilities

4.1 Directors shall:

If appropriate, the appointment of a LOLER Manager may be made at a site level by the Director responsible for SHE in consultation with other Directors.

  • 4.1.1 Appoint in writing (template appointment letter) LOLER Manager(s) and ensure that they receive suitable training and instruction, see Appendix 3.

  • 4.1.2 Inform SHE Group of LOLER Manager appointments and their areas of responsibility and ensure any appointment is entered into SHE Directory.

  • 4.1.3 Appoint in writing (template appointment letter) Lifting Liaison Officers and ensure that they receive suitable training and instruction, see Appendix32.
  • 4.1.4 Inform SHE Group of LLO appointments and their areas of responsibility and update as necessary. Copies of appointment documentation must be entered into SHE Directory.
  • 4.1.1 Appoint in writing LOLER Manager(s) and ensure that they receive suitable training and instruction, see Appendix 3.

  • 4.1.2 Inform SHE Group of LOLER Manager appointments and their areas of responsibility and ensure any appointment is entered into SHE Directory.

  • 4.1.3 Appoint in writing Lifting Liaison Officers and ensure that they receive suitable training and instruction, see Appendix 3.
  • 4.1.4 Inform SHE Group of LLO appointments and their areas of responsibility and update as necessary. Copies of appointment documentation must be entered into SHE Directory.
4.2 LOLER Managers shall:
  • 4.2.1 Assume a general responsibility for the provision of advice on the organisation, control and safety of lifting operations within their area of responsibility, undertaking the role of Appointed Person or Nominated Lifting Engineer.

  • 4.2.2 Investigate incidents which involve LELA within their area of responsibility.

  • 4.2.3 Approve Lifting Plans for complex lifts.
4.3 Managers shall:
  • Design, Purchase and Storage of LELA 

  • 4.3.1 Purchase only "off the shelf" LELA that complies with relevant BS EN or ISO standards with an appropriate Safe Working Load following consultation with the local LOLER Manager and/or LLO. Certificates of Conformity and, where available Proof Load Test Certificates, must be provided with all LELA and sent to the SHE Group as part of their registration process. In the case of composite LELA, each detachable item must be certificated and registered including attachment bolts. LELA cannot be registered for use unless such certification is available to the LLO and the SHE Group.

  • 4.3.2 Where LELA design and/or manufacture is in house, consultation is required with a competent person. The SHE Group will advise on a competent person able to approve LELA designs prior to manufacture, ensuring conformity with relevant BS, EN or ISO standards, and as appropriate issue CoC for equipment. Where design and manufacture is contracted it is expected that the manufacturer will issue or obtain CoC for equipment supplied. The same consideration should be given, where equipment to be lifted is designed in house, to ensure that their fixing holes, for eye bolts and other lifting accessories, conform to relevant BS, EN or ISO standards, and as appropriate issue CoC for the equipment to be lifted.

  • 4.3.3 Ensure all LELA to be fixed to an existing or proposed building structure or fabric is referred to Estates Management for approval in respect of the loading of building structures and floor loading, see SHE Code 19, Maintenance of buildings, premises, services and infrastructure.
  • 4.3.4 Where access to or egress from any part of the lifting equipment is required, a safe means of doing so should be provided. Where practicable a suitable and permanent means of access should be provided rather than relying upon temporary means for inspection, maintenance and servicing of LOLER equipment, e.g. Overhead Travelling Cranes, MEWPS. Where work on or in the vicinity of overhead cranes is planned a Permit to Work (PTW) should be established to ensure the crane is isolated and secured, see Appendix 8 for an example pro forma PTW for work on or near cranes. 

  • 4.3.5 Provide suitable and secure storage for all their LELA used to prevent its inappropriate use, damage or deterioration.

  • 4.3.6 Ensure that when not in use all LELA is stored securely.

  • 4.3.7 Ensure that any hazards arising from the use and storage of LELA have been identified and assessed.

  • 4.3.8 Ensure that LELA that is no longer required or no longer in use is disposed of or withdrawn from service and placed in a separate secure location. Its re-introduction as LELA should follow the same process described for new LELA, see 4.3.1. Upon the withdrawal and/or re-introduction of LELA SHE Group and the LLO should be informed.

  • 4.3.9 Ensure where contractors, visitors, facility users, or tenants bring LELA onto STFC sites they are familiar with this code and that their equipment has been registered and inspected by a competent person/body. Where such LELA will remain on STFC sites long term, greater than 6 months, responsibility for its on-going inspection and testing shall be established, for example through inclusion in the site inventory.

  • Use of LELA 

  • 4.3.9 Assess any complex lifting operation and produce a suitable safe system of work and lifting plan (Appendix 5) to ensure that the task is undertaken safely and brief those supervising the lift on the contents of the lifting plan.

  • 4.3.10 Ensure all users of LELA within their area of responsibility have received appropriate training in the use of such equipment, see Appendix 3, and have been issued with documented authorisation to use lifting equipment.

  • 4.3.11 Ensure that effective risk control measures are in place, in particular that generic lifting plans (all or part of Appendix 5 may be used to generate a generic lifting plan) are in place for routine lifting operations, see SHE Code 6 Risk Management, and that pre-use check are carried out by LELA users.
4.4 LELA Users shall:
  • 4.4.1 Only undertake or supervise lifts for which they are suitably trained (See Appendix 3) and for which a lifting plan is available, paying due care and attention to the movement of the crane/load, surrounding activities and people at all times.

  • 4.4.2 Before undertaking or supervising a lift ensure that:
    • suitably qualified persons are available to supervise and or carry out the lift;
    • a lifting plan is in place for the lift (see Appendix 5) with a named supervisor and separate named operator if required, and note that:
      • a basic or standard lift using a crane may be undertaken by a single LELA user. In this case the local crane supervisor should regularly monitor compliance with the relevant generic lifting plan
      • for a complex lift using a static crane, the lift supervisor or LOLER Manager must oversee the lift, to ensure compliance with the lifting plan; (see table at the end of this section)
    • all LELA is suitable for the lift to be undertaken and a pre-use check for wear or damage/corrosion has been completed.
    • the LELA is registered;
    • the SWL is not exceeded;
    • if a complex or unusual lift is planned, then a documented risk assessment and safe system of work is required, see SHE Code 6, Risk Management in addition to the lifting plan;
    • Check that no work being carried out or any scaffold has been erected in close proximity (within six metres) to the lift.

  • 4.4.3 Summary of documentation and supervision requirements:
Lifting Plan​ Crane Supervisor Comments
Basic LiftGeneric lifting plan should be available (all or part of Appendix 4 can be used)Not required

The generic lifting plan should address issues specific to the working area not covered by training received.

Area in which lift is taking place should be under the supervision of a Crane Supervisor

Standard Lift
(static crane
RequiredNot required for every liftLifting plan (possibly generic) should include an assessment of hazards and suitable control measures.
Complex Lift
(static crane)
RequiredRequiredSpecific lifting plan, including an assessment of hazards and suitable contr​ol measures.​
  • 4.4.4 Report any unregistered LELA (see Appendix 4 for LELA registration prefixes) or LELA defects to the LLO. LELA not identified with a unique registered number or SWL should be returned to the LLO and withdrawn from use immediately.

  • 4.4.5 Report all incidents relating to the use or failure of LELA to local LOLER Manager and/or LLO and ensure incident is reported in SHE Assure​ following SHE Code 5, Incident Reporting and Investigation.
4.5 Lifting Liaison Officers shall:
  • 4.5.1 Provide advice on the purchase of "off the shelf" LELA.

  • 4.5.2 Ensure that all LELA used within their areas of responsibility is indelibly marked with its unique STFC registration number and SWL (see Appendix 4).

  • 4.5.3 Assist SHE Group in managing the periodic inspections and thorough examinations of all lifting equipment and accessories. Also ensure that LELA listed in site inventories is available for inspection. Where remedial action is identified through periodic inspection the LLO shall ensure remediation is completed and the SHE Group notified when appropriate.

  • 4.5.4 Ensure that where LELA cannot be located for inspection purposes the SHE Group is informed. If subsequently found, a thorough examination must take place prior to being returned to use.

  • 4.5.5 Render unusable and dispose of defective LELA or LELA no longer required, informing the SHE Group as appropriate.
4.6 SHE Group shall:
  • At some STFC sites these responsibilities may be undertaken by other groups.

  • 4.6.1 Ensure a central register of all site LELA is maintained locally, retaining original CoC for all LELA before issuing registered numbers for any item. Appendix 4 lists commonly used LELA type codes.

  • 4.6.2 Based upon the central register, manage and implement a periodic inspection and thorough examination of all registered LELA, including: travelling/overhead cranes; mobile cranes; fork lift trucks; and goods and passenger lifts, employing competent inspectors at 6 monthly intervals for LA and between 6 to 12 month intervals for LE in conjunction with relevant LLOs.

  • 4.6.3 Ensure that where LELA inspection identifies defects which are, or are likely to become, a safety hazard the competent inspector shall identify a timescale over which the STFC should take action or as appropriate condemn an item of LELA. Update register accordingly.

  • 4.6.4 Where in the opinion of the competent inspector, a defect is an immediate or imminent risk of serious personal injury, they are obliged to submit a report to the Health and Safety Executive under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrence Regulations, 1995, see SHE Code 5, Incident Reporting and Investigation.

  • 4.6.5 Monitor completion of any remedial actions identified by an inspection through the appropriate LLO. Should the defect affect the SWL, the LLO will be notified immediately.

  • 4.6.6 Ensure that where LELA is declared redundant, the equipment is removed from the central register.

  • 4.6.7 Ensure that where LELA cannot be located for inspection purposes, this is recorded in the central register.

  • 4.6.8 Maintain and make available to staff a listing of STFC LLOs (see SHE Directory)
    4.6.8 Maintain and make available to staff a listing of STFC LLOs.

  • 4.6.9 Maintain a list of suitably qualified Competent Persons/Organisations able to advise on LELA designed in-house and provide CoCs.

5. References

Electronic copies of legislation, approved codes of practice and British Standards can be accessed by STFC staff through STFC-wide subscriptions for online information resources. These services are provided by the Chadwick and RAL libraries and further details can be found on the SHE Group website.

  • 5.1 BS7121 Code of practice for safe use of cranes

  • 5.2 INDG290 Simple guide to the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations (HSE)

  • 5.3 L113 Safe Use of Lifting Equipment, ACoP (HSE) ​
Contact: Baker, Gareth (STFC,DL,COO)