Your risk assessment will help you decide how often you need to maintain your equipment.
This will depend on different elements such as the nature of the equipment, the environment where it’s used or how often. Manufacturers will also advise on how often their equipment needs to be used.
Health and safety legislation and guidance will also determine how often equipment needs to be inspected.
Regulations dealing with lifting equipment, local exhaust ventilation and pressure systems give explicit detail about their inspection regime.
Thorough examinations and inspections of lifting equipment are explained in the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 (external site).
Inspections should be carried out by a competent person with experience of the equipment. They are usually independent and often the employee of an insurer.
The risks associated with the failure of the equipment will determine the extent of the examination.
The competent person who draws up the inspection schedule usually recommends how often inspections should be carried out.
Equipment should receive an initial thorough examination, which is usually carried out by the manufacturer or supplier prior to supply.
Subsequent thorough examinations should be carried out annually, except for equipment used to lift persons. This must be examined every six months.
The person who receives inspection and maintenance reports from lift inspectors needs to understand their contents and importance. A clear procedure must also be in place to take equipment out of use immediately if required.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has more information on lifting equipment.
Local exhaust ventilation
The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations (COSHH) 2002 explain that if you have introduced a local exhaust ventilation system to reduce the risks of exposure to hazardous substances, you need to ensure the local exhaust ventilation system is maintained in good working order.
This should be done by arranging for a competent person to undertake a thorough examination of the system, at least every 14 months.
The Pressure Systems Safety Regulations 2000 (external site) specify that a competent person needs to decide on the frequency and extent of examinations of pressure systems. This is known as a written scheme of examination, which needs to be in place before the system is used.
You should keep a record of the maintenance and inspections you have carried out. This is very important and will help ensure you comply with legislation.