Article in FCA magazine

Article in Forestry Contracting Association magazine.


The full name of the project is ‘Development of European occupational training & assessment standards for registered Independent LOLER inspectors in the workplace’, abbreviated as LOLER.Lifting Operations & Lifting Equipment Regulations are clearly indicative of European Work at Height Regulations adopted by the UK to be transferred within the EU.

The project

LOLER is a 24-month long project focused on creating new inspection techniques to examine lifting equipment in order to prevent accidents and fatalities in the workplace complying with the European Work at Height Regulations: For example in the UK this is interpreted as; the Lifting Operations & Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998- LOLER.

That is important because many of the accidents that occur due to equipment failure could have been preventable if equipment had been thoroughly examined prior to use. This equipment includes ropes, harnesses, connection devices, mobile platforms, ladders etc. In order to enhance thorough examination beyond the current scope of visual assessment the project group led by Billy Robb-A1 Arborists Ltd are investigating new techniques in non-destructive testing (NDT) of equipment. A1 Arborists are FCA members and recognise the valuable experience and potential contribution from the tree work industry which has led to the circulation of a questionnaire early in the life of the project, in order to gain important feedback.

Continuing industry consultation is a key objective of the project and as work progresses communication of information to the industry will be maintained. NDT test methods currently under consideration include X-rays, Ultrasound, Thermal images, Magnetic resonance and Capillary action. If you have experience of failure or problems with work at height equipment and wish to contribute to the project, get involved and let the FCA know, your contribution could help to prevent someone having an accident!

The primary aims and objectives of the LOLER project are:

  • To gain an overview of the participating countries’ inspection standards.
  • To ensure that people using safety equipment for lifting operations or working at heights have appropriate inspections undertaken & meet the requirements of European law.
  • To examine, develop new techniques and test work equipment suitable for LOLER inspections via non-destructive methods.
  • To develop credible European LOLER training and assessment standards.
  • To ensure that operator and inspector competence is recognised at the European level.
  • To ensure that LOLER inspectors are competently trained and examined in testing lifting equipment.
  • To create & maintain a register of European LOLER inspectors to include a system for updating & CPD.

The project is funded by the European Commission, DG Education and Culture under the Lifelong Learning Leonardo da Vinci Programme.

The partners

The LOLER project is being implemented by a partnership of 5 countries and 6 partners.

  • A1 Arborists (UK) – Project Manager
  • Forest Sciences Centre of Catalonia (CTFC) (Spain)
  • Mendel University (Czech Republic)
  • Tree Care Ireland (Ireland)
  • MWMAC (UK)
  • Fito-Consult (Italy)

Finally, the project partners with the support of work at height industry sectors would like to achieve the most important objective which is: prevention and reduction of accidents and deaths related to work at height activities and equipment failure.