LEEA speaks out to keep LOLER

By Sarah Ann McCay05 May 2012

Geoff Holden, chief executive of LEEA

Geoff Holden, chief executive of LEEA

The Lifting Equipment Engineers Association (LEEA) has spoken out against proposed changes to safety regulations in the UK.

The move follows a Government review of health and safety legislation that recommended merging the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations (LOLER) with the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations (PUWER). LEEA stated that such a move was unlikely to reap any significant cost savings for the industry, but could undermine standards of safety in overhead lifting.

LEEA has made its views known via the consultation and review process that was led for the UK government by professor Löfstedt. Geoff Holden, LEEA chief executive, said, "When it was introduced in 1998, LOLER made life much more straightforward for duty holders. It provided a single piece of legislation that applied to all lifting equipment and lifting operations, across every industry."

Holden said the findings of the Löfstedt Report are encouraging. "The report recognises the value of risk-based legislation such as LOLER, and acknowledges that problems are often the result of misunderstanding or over-zealous interpretation of the rules, rather than the rules themselves. While it raises the possibility of merging LOLER and PUWER, it confirms that it is hard to make an economic case for doing so," he said.

Holden, however, urged the industry to get behind the campaign to keep LOLER intact, stating that overhead lifting related accidents remain a significant cause of death and serious injury in the workplace. "We would urge any companies or organisations with an interest in safe lifting to make their views on LOLER known via their local MP," he concluded.

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