HSE issues bulletin on testing of plant and equipment

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Two men inspecting plant and equipment in a factory.A number of clients have asked us about statutory inspection of plant and equipment during the Coronavirus outbreak.

The HSE has issued the following bulletin:

‘HSE recognises the potential challenges when carrying out legal requirements for thorough examination and testing (TE&T) of plant and equipment as a result of the additional precautions people need to take to help reduce risk of transmission of coronavirus and has produced guidance to help industry during this period.

‘Inspection engineers are supporting GB industry to maintain operations and viability by prioritising critical industries and the protection of equipment aiding vulnerable persons.

‘Operators of such equipment must still make all reasonable efforts to ensure that social distancing measures in the workplace aren’t perceived to be a barrier to carrying out TE&T.

‘Businesses and inspection bodies should cooperate to ensure access to plant and equipment for TE&T continues to schedule. This includes businesses arranging access for visiting inspectors to undertake thorough examinations at businesses that are currently closed (either by choice or due to COVID-19 related legislation).

‘If the coronavirus outbreak means your businesses is unable to meet its obligations for TE&T, this guidance includes a risk-based process to determine whether there are steps you can take to safely continue to use equipment critical for essential work, or if you must decide to stop using the equipment.

‘The law for Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations (LOLER) and Pressure Systems Safety Regulations (PSSR) remain in place and businesses must continue to make ensure that equipment is safe to use.