What’s the difference between LOLER and PUWER?

Workplace safety binder

In the realm of workplace safety regulations, two essential guidelines play a pivotal role in ensuring the welfare of employees and maintaining a secure working environment.

Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations (LOLER) and Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations (PUWER) are two distinct sets of legal requirements that focus on different aspects of workplace safety.

In this blog post, we will explore the key differences between LOLER and PUWER, shedding light on their individual scopes, implications and the critical role they play in workplace safety.

LOLER (Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations)

LOLER revolves around lifting equipment used within the workplace.

It is designed to prevent accidents and injuries arising from lifting operations, encompassing a variety of equipment such as cranes, hoists, forklifts and much more.

Key Points of LOLER:

  • LOLER specifically addresses the use, maintenance and inspection of all types of lifting equipment. It applies to any and all lifting operations involving lifting machinery, regardless of load weight or height.
  • LOLER mandates that all lifting equipment undergoes a thorough examination and inspection by a competent person at regular intervals.
  • Employers are responsible for providing adequate training to workers involved in lifting operations, with an emphasis on safe practices and risk awareness.
  • Non-compliance with LOLER can lead to serious legal consequences, including financial penalties.

PUWER (Provisions and Use of Work Equipment Regulations)

PUWER, on the other hand, is a broader regulation that encompasses all types of work equipment used across various industries. It aims to ensure that employers provide safe equipment for their employees, regardless of whether it involves lifting or non-lifting equipment.

Key Points of PUWER:

  • PUWER applies to a wide range of work equipment, such as hand tools, machinery, office equipment and more. Its primary focus is on equipment safety, maintenance and user training.
  • Employers must ensure that all work equipment is suitable for its intended use and conduct thorough risk assessments to identify and mitigate potential issues and hazards.
  • PUWER emphasises the importance of providing comprehensive training to employees on the proper use of work equipment to minimise risks and ensure safe operation.
  • Similar to LOLER, failure to comply with PUWER can lead to legal repercussions, making it essential for businesses to adhere to the regulation.

Key Differences Between LOLER and PUWER

  • Focus: The primary distinction between LOLER and PUWER lies in their focus. LOLER centers on lifting equipment and lifting operations, while PUWER covers a broader range of work equipment.
  • Equipment Type: LOLER specifically deals with lifting machinery, while PUWER encompasses both lifting and non-lifting equipment used in workplaces.
  • Examination Requirements: LOLER mandates thorough examination of lifting equipment, whereas PUWER emphasizes suitability, risk assessment, and user training for all types of work equipment.

Understanding the differences between LOLER and PUWER is crucial for businesses to maintain compliance with the relevant safety regulations. 

By adhering to both LOLER and PUWER, businesses can create a safer and more secure working environment, protecting the well-being of their employees and mitigating potential hazards.

Compliance with these regulations not only prevents legal consequences but also fosters a culture of safety, leading to increased productivity and employee satisfaction. Prioritising workplace safety through adherence to LOLER and PUWER is a crucial step toward long-term success and growth in any organisation.

Dedicated inspection software, such as Kinetic, allows you to keep on top of equipment and machinery safety by streamlining and digitalising your inspection processes. This easy to use software can alert you to when inspections are due, helping to keep you LOLER and PUWER compliant, and can save you from costly incidents. Speak to us today to arrange your free demo of Kinetic


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