The one thing about Thorough Examinations that most managers don’t know…

27 February 2023

‘Exceptional circumstances’ may mean you need an additional
Thorough Examination (LOLER)

It’s fair to say that most managers responsible for materials handling operations are aware of the need for routine inspections (Thorough Examinations) to ensure their equipment is safe to operate and fit for purpose.

Rather fewer appreciate that in order to comply with HSE guidelines, that inspection needs to go beyond what’s covered by LOLER (lifting components, hydraulics, etc.) and should include an examination of brakes, steering, tyres, etc. as required under PUWER regulations.

Fewer still realise that, in addition to scheduled inspections, there are special circumstances where an extra Thorough Examination is legally required.

Geoff Martin, Chairman of Thorough Examination accrediting body CFTS, explains: “Most employers know that material handling equipment must be inspected regularly by a competent person, typically once or twice a year depending on the application. However, there are other events that may necessitate an additional Thorough Examination.

“Described in LOLER as ‘exceptional circumstances’ they are events or actions that could compromise the safety of the equipment. These could include:

  • overload, impact, 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)

“My advice would be that if you are in any doubt about anything to do with Thorough Examinations, including the frequency or the comprehensiveness of the inspection, then talk to your local provider. CFTS has more than 750 accredited depots in the UK, so help is close at hand.”