A pallet truck is a wheeled trolley designed to lift and transport pallets. The truck’s tapered forks slot underneath the pallet and the pump handle can then be used to raise and lower the load. Commonly seen in industrial environments such as warehouses and factory floors, pallet trucks come in a variety of different styles, such as manual pallet trucks, high-lift pallet trucks, and electric pallet trucks. A common question people often ask regarding electric pallet trucks is whether or not they come under LOLER.
What is LOLER?
LOLER stands for ‘Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations’ act of 1998. These are a set of regulations defined by the Health & Safety Executive, placing duties and standards on people and companies who own, operate or have control over any lifting equipment. This includes all businesses and organisations whose employees use lifting equipment, whether owned by them or not. Under LOLER, it is required that all lifting equipment be fit for purpose and appropriate for the tasks that they are being used for.
Are electric pallet trucks subject to LOLER?
Electric pallet trucks, much like most other forms of pallet truck on the market (excluding high-lift pallet trucks), do not fall under LOLER regulations. This is because LOLER generally covers equipment that has a higher “consequence” if the load were to fall. Since electric pallet trucks are merely lifting pallets just off the ground so as to help increase mobility, the risks are deemed to be very low, and so don’t come under LOLER.
This doesn’t mean that care shouldn’t be taken whilst using electric pallet trucks, or that it is impossible to injure yourself whilst using them. General care and common sense should always be applied when using lifting equipment, especially in industrial environments like warehouses. Electric pallet trucks also come under PUWER, the ‘Provision and Use of Work Equipment regulations’ of 1998. These are regulations that cover just about all machinery that is used every day in workplaces: electric pallet trucks, and all other types of pallet truck, need to be suitable for use under PUWER.
Due to the relatively low risk of injury or “consequence” from items falling off of pallet trucks, they are not subject to LOLER, but other regulations like PUWER still need to be considered.