What are LOLER & PUWER and do they apply to my business?

If you’re looking into lifts for your business PUWER and LOLER may have been mentioned.LOLER and PUWER both reference work equipment, of which a lift is an incredibly common component. LOLER focuses on lift equipment, whereas PUWER is centred more around work equipment in general.


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Here’s a quick breakdown of what they entail and whether they apply to you.

What is PUWER?

PUWER: Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998

PUWER is a set of regulations that place responsibility on people or businesses that operate or have control of their work equipment. It also places responsibility on businesses whose employees use work equipment. They are intended to keep people safe and state clearly whose responsibility it is to maintain safety standards.

The PUWER regulations require that equipment used at work is the following:

  • suitable for the intended use
  • safe for use, maintained in a safe condition and inspected to ensure it is correctly installed and does not subsequently deteriorate
  • used only by people who have received adequate information, instruction and training
  • accompanied by suitable health and safety measures, such as protective devices and controls. These will normally include emergency stop devices, adequate means of isolation from sources of energy, clearly visible markings and warning devices
  • used in accordance with specific requirements, for mobile work equipment and power presses


What is LOLER?

LOLER: Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998

Similarly to PUWER, LOLER ensures that a company takes responsibility for its lifting equipment and that it is used and supervised by properly trained individuals to ensure safety.

All equipment must be fit for purpose under LOLER, alongside being suitably marked. Often, lifting equipment will also need to be examined in order to make sure it lives up to the standards set by LOLER. All of these examinations must be recorded.


Who is using the lift

Who actually uses the lift, whether it is predominantly people at work or those not at work,, can make a significant difference to how you approach risk assessment.

If it is a passenger lift used by people at work, for example in an office building or a factory, it will be subject to periodic inspections. These are required by LOLER and PUWER.

If the lift is to be used predominantly by people not at work it is likely that LOLER and PUWER will not apply. However, if the lift is operated by a business, or self-employed person connected to that business, the business is at least in part responsible for health and safety in relation to that lift. Because of this, it is sensible to engage in a similar process of inspection and maintenance as that required by LOLER and PUWER.