Is your Mobile Plant Compliant? Don't Pay the Penalty

28/06/17

Bureau Veritas UK has launched a new Mobile Plant Unit, working with clients to deliver on-hire inspections of mobile work equipment.

According to the HSE, there were 31 prosecutions for breaches of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations (PUWER) 1998 in the six month period up to March 2017. The total fines handed out in that period came to more than £1.8million in that period alone.

Of course, every single penny of these fines was preventable if the right inspection programmes had been in place.

Firstly, let’s remind ourselves of the regulations. Under the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations (PUWER) 1998 (1999 in Northern Ireland), users of work equipment have a responsibility to ensure that the plant or asset is safe to use. This covers all work equipment and any activity involving the equipment – including starting, stopping, programming, setting, transporting, repairing, modifying, maintaining, servicing and cleaning.

The regulations state that regular inspections must be carried out by a competent person and documented. In some cases there are additional regulations too, such as the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations (LOLER) 1998 (1999 in Northern Ireland), which covers all work equipment for lifting and lowering loads.

However, one of the biggest challenges for users comes in the form of mobile assets, such as mobile platforms, lifting and crane equipment, excavators and bulldozers, which are often hired out to contractors and moved around the UK.

Meeting statutory obligations for mobile plant and equipment can be a logistical nightmare - and that’s if users are even aware of their obligations. Many mistakenly believe it is the sole duty of the hire company to undertake PUWER and LOLER inspections but it is the user who must ensure that thorough examinations and inspections are carried out in line with the regulations.

That’s why the new Bureau Veritas UK Mobile Plant Unit, part of our industry-recognised mechanical division, has been developed.

Shaezar Karim,  Mechanical Divisional Director for Bureau Veritas UK, said: “With an expert team of qualified engineer surveyors, we can undertake thorough examinations and inspections equipment as the competent person, to ensure it is safe to use and to enable our clients to meet their statutory obligations – wherever that equipment is located.

“The logistical challenges faced when undertaking inspections of mobile plant can be difficult for many organisations to overcome, but of course those organisations are at risk of costly fines if they are not meeting their obligations. We understand the issues faced when working with mobile plant and our experienced engineers work across the whole of the UK, so they are able to react when assets change location.

“We are excited by the opportunities this new unit will create for our clients and we are looking forward to building on the close working relationships we have already developed with plant hire companies and service teams.” For more details about mechanical and statutory inspection services from Bureau Veritas UK, click here.

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