Inspection frequencies: Educational establishments
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Educational Establishments

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.

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.

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 educational establishments are listed below, together with the applicable legislation.

Applicable legislation (1) Premise type Typical equipment Inspection/thorough examination frequency (months)
Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 Higher education or research establishments Passenger lifts/elevators 6
Platform lift 6
Wheelchair/stair lift 6
Window cleaning equipment/building maintenance unit 6
(1) For Northern Ireland, similar statutory equipment legislation is applicable.
Applicable legislation (1) Premise type Typical equipment Inspection/thorough examination frequency (months) (2)
Pressure System Safety Regulations 2000 Schools Model engine boiler 14
Schools and higher education or research establishments Coffee machine boiler 14
Catering equipment 14
Autoclave/steam steriliser 14
Expansion vessel (used for hot water systems) 26
Air conditioning units (>25kW) 12/60
(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) Premise type Typical equipment Inspection/thorough examination frequency (months)
Provision and Use of Work Equipment 1998 Schools and higher education or research establishments Air conditioning units (<25kW) 12
Hot water boiler (<100ºC) 12
General mechanical and electrical plant (e.g. motors, pumps) 12
Higher education or research establishments Escalators 6
Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 Schools Playground equipment 12
(1) For Northern Ireland, similar statutory equipment legislation is applicable.
Applicable legislation (1) Premise type Typical equipment Inspection/thorough examination frequency (months)
The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 Schools and higher education or research establishments Fume cupboard 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) Premise type Typical equipment Inspection/thorough examination frequency (months) (2)
Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 Schools and higher education or research establishments Low voltage electrical installations 60
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 Regulations 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 Premise type Typical equipment Inspection/thorough examination frequency (months)
S.I. No. 299 of 2007: Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (General Application) Regulations 2007 Higher education or research establishments Passenger lifts/elevators 6
Platform lift 6
Wheelchair/stair lift 6
Window cleaning equipment/building maintenance unit 6
Applicable legislation Premise type Typical equipment Inspection/thorough examination frequency (months)
S.I. No. 445 of 2012: Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (General Application) (Amendment) Regulations 2012 Schools Model engine boiler 14
Schools and higher education or research establishments Coffee machine boiler 14
Catering equipment 14
Autoclave/steam steriliser 14
Expansion vessel (used for hot water systems) 26
Air conditioning units (>25kW) 60
Applicable legislation Premise type 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 Schools and higher education or research establishments Air conditioning units (<25kW) 12
Hot water boiler (<100ºC) 12
General mechanical and electrical plant (e.g. motors, pumps) 12
Higher education or research establishments Escalators 6
S.I. No. 299 of 2007 (Part 3): Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (General Application) Regulations 2007 Schools Playground equipment 12
Applicable legislation Premise type Typical equipment Inspection/thorough examination frequency (months) (1)
Health & Safety Authority: Local Exhaust Ventilation (LEV) Guidance document Schools and higher education or research establishments Fume cupboard 12
Dust extraction (metallic) 12
Dust extraction (non-metallic) 12
(1) Unless specified otherwise by the manufacturer.
Applicable legislation Premise type 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 Schools and higher education or research establishments Low voltage electrical installations 60 (1)
Portable appliances 3-60 (2)
(1) Unless specified otherwise by a risk assessment/the manufacturer. (2) 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.