A guide to engineering inspection frequencies
Employers have a duty of care to ensure the health, safety and welfare of their employees. Periodic engineering inspections and/or thorough examinations on their plant and equipment form part of this vital duty, whilst also ensuring employer conformity to applicable health and safety legislation.
Plant and equipment within the workplace needs to be examined and properly maintained to ensure it is safe to operate, and that it complies with applicable health and safety legislation; requiring statutory 'thorough examinations' at specific intervals (thorough examinations exist outside normal equipment maintenance and servicing procedures).
Regular inspections may also serve as a good preventative maintenance programme to ensure the integrity of plant and equipment; helping to minimise machinery breakdowns and production downtime.
Different types and categories of equipment have varying inspection frequencies according to applicable health and safety legislation.
Typical equipment and installations found within the chemical, petrochemical and pharmaceutical industries are listed below, together with the applicable legislation.
|Equipment category||Applicable legislation (1)||Equipment type||Typical equipment||Inspection/thorough examination frequency (months)|
|Lifting equipment||Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 (LOLER)||Metal works and non-metal works||Blocks (manual/powered)||12|
|Jib crane (manual/powered)||12|
|Fork-lift truck: lifting attachments||12|
|Miscellaneous lifting accessories||6|
|Mobile elevating working platform (MEWP)||6|
|Overhead travelling crane||12|
|Pressure plant (2)||Pressure System Safety Regulations 2000 (PSSR)||Metal works and non-metal works||Compressed air vessel||13/26/72|
|Other pressure vessels||13-120|
|Refrigeration system (>25kW)||60|
|Power presses (3): cold metal forming||Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER): Safe use of power presses||Metal works||Mechanical power press||6/12|
|Mechanical press brake||6/12|
|Other power presses||Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER)||Metal works and non-metal works||Hydraulic press||6/12|
|Hydraulic press brake||6/12|
|Non-metal works||Mechanical power press||6/12|
|Mechanical press brake||6/12|
|Process machinery with guards (e.g. guillotine, injection moulding machine, etc.)||6/12|
|Electrical/mechanical plant||Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER)||Metal works and non-metal works||Hot water boiler (<100ºC)||12|
|Air conditioning units (<25kW)||12|
|General mechanical and electrical plant (e.g. motors, pumps, etc.)||12|
|Local exhaust ventilation||The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH)||Metal works||Shot blast unit||1/6|
|Non-metal works||Dust extraction||14|
|Electrical systems (4)||Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 (EAWR)||Metal works and non-metal works||Low voltage electrical installations||36|
View detailed diagrams of typical plant and equipment used across various industries, together with applicable UK legislation for each item.