As businesses are now encouraged to return to work there are obviously many considerations for both employer and employee. Our recent bulletin covered the re-opening of premises after the period of lockdown and offered a series of recommended property checks to help a smooth return to operations. The working environment needs to be carefully considered and new safe systems implemented to allow for the likes of social distancing, hygiene and cleaning facilities etc.
During the exceptional circumstances presented by the Covid-19 outbreak, Engineering Inspection Service Providers have had to carefully consider the delivery of their service taking account of HSE guidelines, the available resource along with the safeguarding of their employees. Many of the providers also sought to prioritise their work in support of essential services and this will lead to delays in inspecting plant and equipment which could mean some plant not being certified.
As companies return to work it is important to ensure that Statutory Inspections in line with LOLER and PUWER are up to date. Whilst HSE accept that some companies may have experienced difficulties with examinations and have commented on the adoption of a risk based process to determine the steps to be taken where an inspection or examination has been missed, they are clear that the overarching obligation to comply with these regulations remains, see; https://www.hse.gov.uk/news/work-equipment-coronavirus.htm
Many Property/Liability insurances will also carry a policy condition that requires any plant/machinery requiring statutory inspection to have been so inspected and for up to date regimes to be in place. Should you have any items that are outside of inspection dates, please can you notify us for review with your insurer where necessary.
The safety of Engineering insurer’s employees will now entail them spending as little time as possible in the field with insurer’s seeking comfort on the procedures that are in place at their customer’s site. As example Zurich have issued the following general requirements to help support the safety of their inspectors;
- Conversations regarding site risks and control measures will be held and controls agreed prior to arriving at site.
- Ensure the attendance of the maintenance companies to assist in inspections, essential for preparation, testing and assistance with some plant.
- Client to manage social distancing by all persons at all times in line with Public Health England guidance.
- Where possible a parking place should be provided – as our surveyors are no longer using public transport.
- Where appropriate, a separate entrance to the general public access to be provided.
In situations where these requirements cannot be met, engineering surveyors may decide to discontinue the inspection until these requirements can be met.
Should you have any questions in relation to the opening of premises, statutory inspections or should you be interested in the offering by Direct Safety Solutions, please contact us.