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Health and Safety

Work Equipment

All plant and equipment used at work must be checked regularly to ensure it is safe and in proper working order. Some work equipment such as lifts, steam boilers and air compressors need formal inspections by a competent person and this can usually be arranged through an insurance company

Safe Plant and Equipment (0.04MB) Adobe Acrobat Format

Safety Checklist for Work Equipment

  1. Only trained and authorised users must be allowed to operate machinery. Young persons (those who have not attained the age of 18) must only use machinery while under supervision and training. They must not clean or get involved with maintenance work unless under proper supervision after thorough training.
  2. Machinery must never be used without proper guards in place. Posters, signs and supervision should be used to remind operatives of the need to use guards.
  3. Areas around machinery should be clean, tidy and free from obstructions.
  4. Appropriate safety clothing and equipment should be worn when operating machinery.
  5. A sufficient standard of lighting must be provided around machinery. In particular, "light flicker" must be prevented as this can cause problems when working with moving parts.
  6. A clear system of signage must be operated for defective machinery in order to prevent unauthorised use. Defects must be remedied promptly.

Pressure Systems

Certain work equipment is pressurised and will require a written scheme of inspection designed by a competent person in order to ensure that the equipment is safe for the pressure being exerted upon it. This is usually done by your insurance company's engineer.

Pressure Systems include steam raising boilers at any pressure, compressed air receivers and any system containing compressed liquified gas above 0.5 bar (which is approximately 7 pounds per square inch) above atmospheric pressure.

Lifting Equipment

This includes any equipment used at work for lifting or lowering loads which also includes people.

A wide range of equipment is covered including cranes, fork lift trucks, passenger/goods lifts and hoists, mobile elevating work platforms and vehicle inspection platform hoists. Lifting accessories such as chains, slings, hooks, eyebolts, etc., are also covered.

The following is a summary of what you will need to consider if you use this type of equipment:

  • All passenger lifts must be inspected every 6 months
  • All ropes, chains, slings and other accessories must be of good construction, made of sound materials and checked every 6 months
  • Safe Working Load must be displayed on all lifts and lifting tackle
  • To get your lift equipment checked by a competent person see your insurance company who will be able to help you


Work equipment includes any equipment used in connection with work, e.g. tools, stepladder, stock trolley, stool, vacuum cleaner, abrasive wheel, etc. They all need to be maintained in a safe condition (after all, we don't buy a car without considering a maintenance programme!). So look at the manufacturers' instructions to see how often the equipment should be maintained and by whom and action accordingly. A Blank Work Equipment Checklist can be found at Appendix 7.

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