Coronavirus & plant inspections

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Forklift is putting cargo from warehouse to truck outdoors

With the UK now in lockdown engineering insurers are trying to ensure that their employees work from home wherever possible. In addition, like many businesses they also have employees who are self-isolating due to illness or health reasons. This has resulted in a shortage of employees available to provide periodic statutory inspection services.

Because of this, insurers have been prioritising their efforts on essential services. These have been defined as being facilities that are crucial for the treatment/research of the coronavirus and the general infrastructure of the country, including:

  • Hospitals, GP practices, essential NHS hubs and pharmacies
  • Schools used for essential workers childcare
  • Services and utility providers (power, gas, water, sewage, waste)
  • Retail, manufacturing, port and transportation services (medical supplies, food, fuel etc.)
  • Maintenance and repair services for the above
  • Social / economically vital sites and services (construction, large employers)
  • Essential commerce including Government, local council hubs and banking

The HSE has recently published guidance on carrying out thorough examination and testing of lifting and pressure equipment during the coronavirus outbreak at the following link:

https://www.hse.gov.uk/news/work-equipment-coronavirus.htm

The HSE has confirmed that the law for Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations (LOLER) and Pressure Systems Safety Regulations (PSSR) remain in place.

Their advice is to help dutyholders ensure that their work plant and equipment remain safe to use. And to help guide decision making to see if Thorough Examination and Testing (TE&T) requirements can still be met.

Whilst organisations may want to limit access to their premises we would recommend access be granted to facilitate engineering inspections, but only where it is safe to do so.