Engineering Inspection: Make Sure Your Business Equipment Is Appropriately Covered

UK businesses have a legal obligation to ensure that their plant and machinery equipment falls in line with required healthy and safety standards. 

If your business doesn't have an up-to-date certificate of inspection for items that require surveying, then you could be on the end of a host of different sanctions, including fines, prosecution and even potential imprisonment.

Admittedly, this is a requirement that a host of businesses know little about. To cite an example from four years ago, a coffee machine at a Sainsbury's blew up, injuring a few people in store at the time, perZurich Insider.

A coffee machine, as a steam pressurised vessel, needs to be inspected in accordance with Health and Safety Executive guidelines. If this piece of equipment had been looked as part of an engineering inspection policy, then this particular defect would have been picked up, subsequently preserving the safety of clients and saving the business money and time; the case was still in court back in November 2013.

Other pieces of business equipments that need to be inspected in accordance with various regulations include lifting equipment. So using the example of companies that utilise fork-lift trucks, it's vital a regular inspection is conducted to fall in line with Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations (LOLER).

An engineering inspection policy can allow you to breath easy when it comes to meeting the required standards, whether it's a coffee machine or a fork-lift truck you need to keep tabs on. And when you look at the amount of defects picked up in accordance with these relatively cheap policies, it's well worth the investment.

RSA are an insurer that run an engineering inspection policy and in the 500,000 reports they conducted last year, a whopping 30,000 included defects that "could cause serious injury and/or business disruption", per RSA Broker. Statistics from Zurich's aforementioned piece also includes some interesting figures, noting that 800 of the 40,000 inspections carried out on steam pressure vessels by their surveyors contained "safety critical defects".

Engineering inspection policies can be a catalyst for effective risk management within a business. It's a policy that enables employers to provide a safe working environment for their employees, to preempt defects with vital machinery and have peace of mind that the business equipment is likely to run smoothly.

If you have a question about engineering inspection policies, free contact us with your own thoughts via our website. Alternatively you can get in touch by phone (01244 345 076) or follow us on Twitter.