Engineering inspection frequencies - Plastics
© Getty Images/Westend61/Daniel Ingold

Manufacturing: Plastics

A guide to inspection frequencies

Employers have a duty of care to ensure the health, safety and welfare of their employees. Periodic 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.

Manufacturers rely on a wide range of equipment and process plant for their day-to-day operations, with various work processes occurring depending on the type of business operation.

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 examinations at specific intervals, which 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.

Inspection frequencies

Different types and categories of equipment have varying inspection frequencies according to applicable health and safety legislation.

Typical equipment and installations found within plastic production industries are listed below, together with the applicable legislation.

Applicable legislation (1) Typical equipment Inspection/thorough examination frequency (months)
Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 Blocks (manual/powered) 12
Jib crane (manual/powered) 12
Fork-lift truck 12
Fork-lift truck: lifting attachments 12
Scissor lift 6/12
Platform lift 6
Trolley 12
Miscellaneous lifting accessories (lifting tackle) 6
Mobile elevating working platform (MEWP) 6
Overhead travelling crane 12
Lifting beam (and frame/lifting attachments) 12
Jack (e.g. bottle/trolley/transmission jack) 12
Vacuum lifter 6
Axle stand/support 12
General lifting support equipment (e.g. runway track) 12
Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 Pallet truck 12
Racking 12
(1) For Northern Ireland, similar statutory equipment legislation is applicable.
Applicable legislation (1) Typical equipment Inspection/thorough examination frequency (months) (2)
Pressure System Safety Regulations 2000 Steam boiler 14
Steam vessels 14/26
Other pressure vessels 13-120
Refrigeration system (>25kW) 60
Air receiver (>250 bar/litres) 26
Air/oil receiver 72
Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 Compressed air vessel 12
Hot water boiler (<110ºC) (3) 12
Expansion vessel (used for hot water systems) (3) 12
Refrigeration and air conditioning systems (<25 kW) (3) 12
(1) For Northern Ireland, similar statutory equipment legislation is applicable. (2) Examination intervals for statutory pressure systems are dictated by a Written Scheme of Examination; a legal document that details the items within the pressure system, including protective devices, and outlines the inspection frequency and requirements. (3) PUWER is applicable if the the item is used by employees at a place of work.
Applicable legislation (1) Typical equipment Inspection/thorough examination frequency (months)
Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 Hydraulic power press 6/12
Mechanical power press 6/12
Mechanical press brake 6/12
Process machinery with guards (e.g. guillotine, injection moulding machine, etc.) 6/12
(1) For Northern Ireland, similar statutory equipment legislation is applicable.
Applicable legislation (1) Typical equipment Inspection/thorough examination frequency (months)
Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 Hot water boiler (<100ºC) (2) 12
Process machinery 12
General mechanical and electrical plant (e.g. motors, pumps, etc.) 12
(1) For Northern Ireland, similar statutory equipment legislation is applicable. (2) PUWER is applicable if the the item is used by employees at a place of work.
Applicable legislation (1) Typical equipment Inspection/thorough examination frequency (months)
The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH) Dust extraction 14
Fume extraction 14
(1) For Northern Ireland, similar statutory equipment legislation is applicable.
Applicable legislation (1) Typical equipment Inspection/thorough examination frequency (months) (2)
Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 (EAWR) Low voltage electrical installations 36
Portable appliances 12
(1) For Northern Ireland, similar statutory equipment legislation is applicable. (2) The frequency of period inspection for electrical systems, installations and equipment covered by the Electricity at Work Regululations 1989 is dependent on the type and use of the installation, the quality and frequency of maintenance and any external influences which the installation may be subject to.
Applicable legislation Typical equipment Inspection/thorough examination frequency (months)
S.I. No. 299 of 2007: Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (General Application) Regulations 2007 Blocks (manual/powered) 12
Jib crane (manual/powered) 12
Fork-lift truck 12
Fork-lift truck: lifting attachments 12
Scissor lift 6
Platform lift 6
Trolley 12
Miscellaneous lifting accessories (lifting tackle) 6
Mobile elevating working platform (MEWP) 6
Overhead travelling crane 12
Lifting beam (and frame/lifting attachments) 12
Jack (e.g. bottle/trolley/transmission jack) 12
Vacuum lifter 6
Axle stand/support 12
General lifting support equipment (e.g. runway track) 12
S.I. No. 299 of 2007 (Regulation 30): Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (General Application) Regulations 2007 Pallet truck 12
Applicable legislation Typical equipment Inspection/thorough examination frequency (months)
S.I. No. 445 of 2012: Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (General Application) (Amendment) Regulations 2012 Steam boiler 14
Steam vessels 14/26
Other pressure vessels 13/120
Refrigeration system (>25kW) 60
Air receiver (>250 bar/litres) 26
Air/oil receiver 72
S.I. No. 299 of 2007 (Regulation 30): Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (General Application) Regulations 2007 Compressed air vessel 12
Hot water boiler (<110ºC) 12
Expansion vessel (used for hot water systems) 12
Refrigeration and air conditioning systems (<25 kW) 12
Applicable legislation Typical equipment Inspection/thorough examination frequency (months)
S.I. No. 299 of 2007: Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (General Application) Regulations 2007 Hydraulic power press 6/12
Mechanical power press 6/12
Mechanical press brake 6/12
Process machinery with guards (e.g. guillotine, injection moulding machine, etc.) 6/12
Applicable legislation Typical equipment Inspection/thorough examination frequency (months)
S.I. No. 299 of 2007 (Regulation 30): Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (General Application) Regulations 2007 Hot water boiler (<100ºC) 12
Process machinery 12
Racking 12
General mechanical and electrical plant (e.g. motors, pumps, etc.) 12
Applicable legislation Typical equipment Inspection/thorough examination frequency (months) (1)
Health & Safety Authority: Local Exhaust Ventilation (LEV) Guidance document Dust extraction 12
Fume extraction 12
(1) Unless specified otherwise by the manufacturer.
Applicable legislation Typical equipment Inspection/thorough examination frequency (months)
S.I. No. 299 of 2007 (Part 3): Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (General Application) Regulations 2007 Low voltage electrical installations 36 - Industrial (1)
60 - Commercial (1)
Portable appliances 3-60 (2)
(1) Unless specified otherwise by a risk assessment/the manufacturer. (2) A general guide, unless specified otherwise by a risk assessment/the manufacturer.

Plant Guide: Diagrams

View detailed diagrams of typical plant and equipment used across various industries, together with applicable legislation for each item.

How HSB can help

HSB Inspection Services: Our network of competent, multi-skilled Engineer Surveyors located throughout the UK and Ireland help customers to maintain workplace equipment safety, optimise the efficiency of plant and equipment, and comply with applicable health and safety legislation.

HSB Risk Management Solutions: We can help businesses to reduce risks, costs, and deliver compliance via improved analysis of their equipment and health and safety practices. Consisting of three services, each service is further split into modules, allowing customers to build them to fit their business.