Testing Times Ahead
In recent weeks as the Covid-19 crisis has emerged we have become increasingly aware of customers who have placed restrictions on visitors and contractors accessing their sites as part of their contingencies and control measures to protect staff.
We appreciate that customers are doing all they can at this difficult time, however it has emerged as a growing concern within our industry that there are occasions where scheduled maintenance visits and legally required Thorough Examinations have been stopped.
Two of our Industry Bodies, the British Industrial Truck Association (BITA) and the Fork Lift Truck Association (FLTA) have sought clarity from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and it has been the clear opinion of all that whilst equipment remains in service that scheduled maintenance and, where relevant, statutory Thorough Examinations should be considered “Essential Ongoing Activity” that should not be obstructed or prevented in any way.
Materials Handling equipment owners or users who restrict these essential activities are at risk of jeopardising safety and potentially breaching relevant legislation as listed below:
• The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations (PUWER) make clear that scheduled maintenance and inspections must be undertaken by a suitably competent person in line with recommended intervals.
• The Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations (LOLER) make clear that any Lifting Equipment must be subject to a Thorough Examination at intervals advised by a Competent Person, not exceeding 12 months (6 months for equipment that lifts people).
Further to this, customers may find themselves in breach of contract terms for equipment in their custody that is utilised under a rental agreement.
We have shared a link below giving further information on this matter from our industry bodies for your further reading and consideration: read it here
Again, we appreciate customers are doing all they can at this time, but whilst equipment remains operational it is essential it remains in a fit and safe condition. If you have any questions or concerns, please make contact a member of our team here