137 workers were killed at work last year. The majority died as a result of defects in their work equipment. The legislation regarding maintaining work equipment is clear.
Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992
Regulation 5 – Maintenance of workplace, and of equipment, devices and systems
5 (1) the workplace and the equipment, devices and systems to which this regulation applies shall be maintained (including cleaned as appropriate) in an efficient state, in efficient working order and in good repair.
(2) where appropriate, the equipment, devices and systems to which this regulation applies shall be subject to a suitable system of maintenance.
(3) the equipment, devices and systems to which this regulation applies are—
(a) equipment and devices a fault in which is liable to result in a failure to comply with any of these Regulations; and
(b) mechanical ventilation systems provided pursuant to regulation 6 (whether or not they include equipment or devices within sub-paragraph (a) of this paragraph). The only thing that the claimant
‘Efficient’ in the view of health, safety and welfare (not productivity or economy).
If a potentially dangerous defect is discovered, it should be rectified immediately or steps should be taken to protect anyone who might be put at risk e.g. prevent access until repaired or replaced.
‘System of maintenance’ = involves ensuring that regular maintenance testing, cleaning, inspection etc. is carried out at suitable intervals. Potentially dangerous defects are remedied and access is prevented in the meantime, regular maintenance and remedial work is carried out properly and suitable record is kept to ensure the system is properly implemented.
Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998
Regulation 5 – Maintenance
5 (1) every employer shall ensure that work equipment is maintained in an efficient state, in efficient working order and in good repair.
(2) every employer shall ensure that where any machinery has a maintenance log, the log is kept up to date.
It is important that equipment is maintained so that its performance does not deteriorate to the extent that it puts people at risk.
There is no requirement to keep a maintenance log, but it is recommended for high risk equipment. If a maintenance log is kept, it should be kept up to date.
Maintenance procedures should be performed in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations e.g. replacement or adjustment of parts.
Maintenance work should only be carried out by those competent to do the work.
If you have been injured at work as a result of defective work equipment call Richard Meggitt, Solicitor on 0114 2678780 for free advice.