HSB | Engineering inspections guide - Construction
© Getty Images/Michael H

A guide to engineering inspection frequencies

Construction

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

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 (LOLER) Tower crane 12
Mobile crane (goods only) 12
Fork lift truck 12
Telehandler 12
Lifting beam (and frame/lifting attachments) 12
Builder’s hoist (lifting persons/lifting goods) 6/12
Mobile elevator work platform (MEWP) 6
Excavator (with lifting duties) 12
Piling rig 12
Miscellaneous lifting accessories 6
Applicable legislation (1) Typical CPE Inspection/thorough examination frequency (months)
Pressure System Safety Regulations 2000 (PSSR) Air/oil receiver 72
Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER) Compressed air vessels 12
Applicable legislation (1) Typical CPE Inspection/thorough examination frequency (months)
Provision and Use of Work Equipment 1998 (PUWER) General mechanical and electrical plant (e.g. motors, pumps) 12
Applicable legislation (1) Typical CPE Inspection/thorough examination frequency (months)
The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH) Fume extraction 14
Dust extraction (metallic) 6/14 (3)
Dust extraction (non-metallic) 14
Applicable legislation (1) Typical CPE Inspection/thorough examination frequency (months)
Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 (EAWR) Temporary electrical installations 3
Portable appliances 3
1. For Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, similar statutory equipment legislation is applicable. HSB's inspection services in the Republic of Ireland are provided to comply with the equivalent legislation. 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. 6-month frequency if used for more than 12 hours per week. Otherwise, a 14-month frequency. 4. 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.

Plant Guide: Diagrams

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

Engineering inspection services

HSB Inspection Services: Helping 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: Three engineering consultancy services to reduce risks, costs, and deliver compliance via improved analysis of businesses’ equipment, and health and safety practices. Each service is further split into modules, allowing customers to build them to fit their business.