Inspections frequencies: Construction
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Construction

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.

All construction sites depend on a variety of construction plant and equipment (CPE) for day-to-day operations. This could involve, for example, piling, earth moving, load lifting and material handling; using different types of CPE ranging from large tower cranes to forklift trucks to small air compressors.

CPE 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 the construction industry are listed below, together with the applicable legislation.

Applicable legislation (1) Typical CPE Inspection/thorough examination frequency (months)
Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 Tower crane 12
Mobile crane (goods only) 12
Forklift truck 12
Telehandler/Mobile hydraulic handler 12
Lifting beam (and frame/lifting attachments) 12
Builder’s hoist (lifting persons/lifting goods) 6/12
Mobile elevating work platform (MEWP) 6
Excavator (with lifting duties) 12
Piling rig 12
Miscellaneous lifting accessories 6
(1) For Northern Ireland, similar statutory equipment legislation is applicable.
Applicable legislation (1) Typical CPE Inspection/thorough examination frequency (months) (2)
Pressure System Safety Regulations 2000 Air/oil receiver 72
Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 Compressed air vessel 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.
Applicable legislation (1) Typical CPE Inspection/thorough examination frequency (months)
Provision and Use of Work Equipment 1998 General mechanical and electrical plant (e.g. motors, pumps) 12
(1) For Northern Ireland, similar statutory equipment legislation is applicable.
Applicable legislation (1) Typical CPE Inspection/thorough examination frequency (months)
The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 Fume extraction 14
Dust extraction (metallic) 6/14 (2)
Dust extraction (non-metallic) 14
(1) For Northern Ireland, similar statutory equipment legislation is applicable. (2) 6-month frequency if used for more than 12 hours per week. Otherwise, a 14-month frequency.
Applicable legislation (1) Typical CPE Inspection/thorough examination frequency (months) (2)
Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 Temporary electrical installations 3
Portable appliances 3
(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 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 CPE Inspection/thorough examination frequency (months)
S.I. No. 299 of 2007: Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (General Application) Regulations 2007 Tower crane 12
Mobile crane (goods only) 12
Forklift truck 12
Telehandler/Mobile hydraulic handler 12
Lifting beam (and frame/lifting attachments) 12
Builder’s hoist (lifting persons/lifting goods) 6
Mobile elevating work platform (MEWP) 6
Excavator (with lifting duties) 12
Piling rig 12
Miscellaneous lifting accessories 6
Applicable legislation Typical CPE Inspection/thorough examination frequency (months)
S.I. No. 445 of 2012: Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (General Application) (Amendment) Regulations 2012 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
Applicable legislation Typical CPE Inspection/thorough examination frequency (months)
S.I. No. 299 of 2007 (Regulation 30): Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (General Application) Regulations 2007 General mechanical and electrical plant (e.g. motors, pumps) 12
Applicable legislation Typical CPE Inspection/thorough examination frequency (months) (1)
Health & Safety Authority: Local Exhaust Ventilation (LEV) Guidance document Fume extraction 12
Dust extraction (metallic) 12
Dust extraction (non-metallic) 12
(1) Unless specified otherwise by the manufacturer.
Applicable legislation Typical CPE Inspection/thorough examination frequency (months)
S.I. No. 299 of 2007 (Part 3): Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (General Application) Regulations 2007 Temporary electrical installations 3
Portable appliances 3-60 (1)
(1) A general guide dependant on location, and 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.