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Managing Safety In Your Lift

Lifts provide easy access to various levels within your business. Whether reserved for use by employees or open to the public, there are legal regulations in the UK to help mitigate the risks involved. And, as the business owner or appointed responsible person, it’s vital that you understand these conditions and take the necessary actions to make sure you abide by them. Keeping visitors and employees safe at all times is of the utmost importance. In this guide, we’ll walk you through UK law and how to make sure your lifts are the safest they can be.

Difference Between Passenger and Workplace Lifts

There are two types of lifts to consider when assessing safety – lifts used in the workplace and passenger lifts. Those used by employees to complete their job will need to meet the requirements of the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations (LOLER). These include mobile elevated working platforms and all relevant equipment used to lift people to a height. Their use needs to be appropriately planned and supervised by someone who is deemed to be ‘competent’ and must undergo regular examinations by a qualified technician to ensure it is fit for purpose.

Passenger lifts are those that have not been designed to be used by people at work. These include platform lifts that take customers to different floors, for example. They are vital to the running of your business and required to ensure that access is easy. And, therefore, it is the responsibility of the business to make sure they are properly maintained and safe for use at all times.

Legislations and Regulations for Passenger Lifts

There are several laws and regulations here in the UK that govern the use of lifts for the general public.

These include:

  • LOLER (Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations) 1998.
  • Supply of Machinery (Safety) Regulations 2008.
  • Lift Regulations 2016.


While the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations are designed to cover work-based lifting equipment., certain clauses in them apply to the management, maintenance and supply of lifts to the general public. Following these regulations, you need to ensure that the lifting equipment provided is strong, stable and suitable for use by the intended audience. It needs to be positioned and installed in a way that minimises any potential risks and must be used safely by every operator. The lift must also be subjected to regular examination and inspection to ensure it remains in good working order. This includes regular servicing and service reports to present, if required, as a means to show compliance.

Supply of Machinery (Safety) Regulations 2008

These regulations apply to all machinery and lifting accessories. They sit alongside section 6 of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 puts the responsibility for safe design and construction on the manufacturer. The Supply of Machinery regulations put strict requirements for safety on every new item of machinery, including lifts, that are supplied. This includes ‘machines’ that aren’t powered by manual effort as well as many forms of lifting equipment.

To abide by these regulations, manufacturers must:

  • Be thoroughly tested and meet the requirements for health and safety set out.
  • Be accompanied by a technical file.
  • Be fully assessed by a relevant body.
  • Be issued with a Declaration of Conformity.
  • Have a CE marking to show its compliance with other legal requirements.

Lift Regulations 2016

While these regulations apply to manufacturers and suppliers of lifts in the UK, they are a means for your business to identify a safe option for your business. It sets out the scope at which life should be designed, manufactured, installed and tested to ensure it sits in compliance with the regulations. It also explains the requirement for a Declaration of Conformity alongside a UKCA marking and information about the registered business. This regulation applies to both passenger and goods lifts.

The Importance of Servicing Your Lifts

As with any machinery in the workplace, having a structured servicing and maintenance schedule is vital for your lifts. While there are many systems in place to eliminate significant risks, poorly maintained lifts can still experience issues like electrical failure. In some instances, this can cause problems related to lighting, ventilation and door control. Well maintained and serviced lifts minimise these risks and help to extend its operational life and help reduce the risk of high-cost repairs in the future.

Most passenger lifts should be serviced twice per year. In high-use environments or by the manufacturer’s recommendations, you may need to increase this to 3 times a week to help optimise the running of your lift. Choosing an experienced company will ensure this is as thorough and complete as possible to eliminate significant risks.

Safety Signs and Lifts

As with risk reduction efforts across the workplace, safety signs can be effectively used to manage and mitigate potential hazards during the use of passenger lifts. For example, our Reduced Headroom signs act as a visual warning of a dropped ceiling within a loft, working to avoid heat-related injuries by all users. In the event of a fire and to prevent electrical shut-down and the related complications, our range of In Event of Fire, Avoid These Lifts provide a clear warning to direct people down the stairs instead. For potentially dangerous environments, we also stock ‘caution signs including ‘Unauthorised Access Prohibited’ and ‘Danger of Falling’ signs too. With universal logos, colours and messages under ISO 7010, these signs are recognised as being universally understandable. In fitting them in highly visible locations and next to the identified risk, you are making efforts to minimise the risk of injury.

Here at Lasting Impressions, we bring together a wide variety of safety signs to meet the needs of businesses and organisations alike. If you cannot find what you’re looking for or have any questions to ask, please get in contact with the team here today.