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Carrying out Thorough Examinations during the Coronavirus outbreak

The HSE recommends the continuation of the testing of lifting equipment

Author: Dee Jones/24 April 2020/Categories: HEALTH & SAFETY, Creating safe working conditions, Safety when working at height , WORKPLACE ADVICE, Maintenance

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Action Handling Equipment offer the service of Thorough Examinations, repairs, servicing and the maintenance of lifting equipment. So what should happen during the Coronavirus outbreak?

We recognise that there are many challenges for businesses with the constraints of current lockdown rules and socially distancing measures that we are operating under. The procedural law for lifting operations and for both LOLER (Lifting Equipment Regulations) & PUWER (Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations) still remains in place.

UK businesses and the bodies that carry out inspections should cooperate closely to maintain schedules to continue with Thorough Examinations and all other testing procedures. This includes businesses that are currently closed due to COVID-19 related legislation by arranging safe access for inspectors where possible. A risk based process can be employed if you are unable to meet your obligations for testing due to the coronavirus outbreak but it is important to consider that employers must continue to ensure that equipment is safe to use.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) have issued guidance notes for duty-holders and inspectors that will help you to continue with the testing of lifting equipment. It covers many aspects that are of help to businesses, like managing social distancing for inspection activities, prioritisation of inspection activity and some examples of various industry scenarios.  

The HSE's approach to enforcement of any action for non-compliance of the statutory requirements due to the Coronavirus outbreak will be to take no action if the only failing is that testing is not carried out by the required date. However, equipment should only be used outside of its test regime if you can demonstrate that it is critical for essential work and that it can be continued to be operated safely. All reasonable attempts to have testing carried out must be demonstrated and the management of risks must be in evidence. The HSE website has useful information relating to this subject.

The legal obligation remains for you to ensure that equipment is safe to use.


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