Why do I need to have my equipment maintained?

Why do I need to have my equipment maintained?

There are statutory legal requirements for owners to have equipment maintained such as lifts, lifting platforms, stairlifts, escalators and moving walks if they are:

  • Work equipment under the Provision of Work Equipment Regulations (PUWER) – Regulation 5 requires employers to ensure that work equipment is maintained and also that where there is a maintenance log this is kept up to date.
  • Lifts used for fire safety i.e. evacuation and firefighting lifts under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order or equivalent Regulations in Scotland and Northern Ireland which require fire safety equipment to be maintained.
  • Equipment under the control of an employer or self-employed person under section 3 of the Health and Safety at Work Act (HASAWA) where there is a general responsibility for the health and safety of people they don't employ. This includes members of the public who use the equipment and those people who may work on or inspect the equipment. HSE guidance is that, as the risks may be the same as when using equipment in connection with work, a similar regime of maintenance, inspection and examination to that required under LOLER and PUWER may be entirely 'reasonably practicable' in managing the risks.

This list is not exhaustive and there may be other regulations applying to specialist equipment which might have further requirements.

Even if a piece of equipment does not fall under one of the cases listed above, it clear that equipment degrades with time (even if not used or used lightly) and so owners should have their equipment regularly maintained:

  • to meet statutary regulations where they apply
  • to safeguard the safety of users, workers and others involved with the equipment
  • to meet the demands of insurers
  • to ensure it is reliable and available for use when required
  • to maintain its asset value
  • to manage the risks to the owner from legal action arising from accidents and claims.

The updated version of the “10 Essentials for Owners” presented at LIFTEX 2016 includes links to further resouces on the LEIA website and can be found by clicking here. In particular, the LEIA Code of practice for maintenance has further information and guidance.

NOTE: If lifting equipment falls under PUWER then the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations (LOLER) also apply. See Lift Owner news: in-service through examination. Even where work equipment does not fall under LOLER, such as escalators, PUWER has requirements for the inspection of equipment to ensure that it is safe.