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Business Risk Management Engineering Inspections

Certain types of plant and equipment require mandatory engineering inspections on a regular basis. In order to ensure the safety of everyone involved with the equipment, these inspections must be carried out by a qualified person. 

Typical examples of plant and machinery required to be inspected are lifts, compressors, or plants fitted with hydraulics, chains, wires, or ropes. Also, any mechanical extraction system used to control hazardous substances.

Alan Boswell Group can provide all the inspection services and support you need:

  • Ensuring compliance with legislation
  • Full documentation of inspections
  • Annual contract
  • Competitive pricing

The Alan Boswell Group Difference

personal insurance

Engineering inspection is an area often overlooked by businesses in the UK, but we can help. Our in-house Engineer Surveyors will work with you to identify which items of your work equipment require inspections and establish how frequently these checks are required. We will also carry out the appropriate inspections, ensuring you meet your legal requirements.

Engineering Inspections in detail

Are regular engineering inspections necessary?

Yes, all thorough examinations must be carried out as explained above to remain compliant with the regulations. Engineering inspection typically must be carried out at intervals of six or twelve months.


Do I need an engineering inspection?

The examples of applicable machinery given above is not exhaustive; all machinery that fits into the above categories must have a thorough examination carried out by a Competent Person at regular intervals, which should be highlighted by your appointed Competent Person. A designated Competent Person can be your inspection company, such as ABRM. If in doubt, contact us and we will be happy to assist and explain the requirements.


Why are engineering inspections important?

Engineering inspections are a legal requirement and must be carried out by a ‘Competent Person’ to ensure the item is safe for employees to operate.

Should there be an accident or fatality involving an item of machinery that has not been inspected at the required interval, the employer will have to justify this to the courts. This could result in large fines or even a custodial sentence, as well as any other consequences of choosing not to comply with the regulations.

Engineering inspections follow four simple steps:

  • Engineering inspections cover a range of statutory inspections applicable under the following regulations.

    Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER 1998)

    This regulation is applicable to:

    • Power presses
    • PPE and access equipment – harnesses, adders, restraint wires etc
    • Pressure vessels under 250 bar/litres – air receivers, air/oil receivers, expansion vessels etc
    • Earth moving equipment – excavators, dumper trucks, trenching buckets etc
    • Workshop equipment – bearing presses, axle stands, pallet trucks etc

    Regulation 5 of PUWER places the onus on employers to ensure that their work equipment is in good repair and safe for employees to operate.

    Work equipment must be inspected:

    • at installation, or when moved to a new site where installation conditions affect safety
    • at regular intervals when exposed to conditions which can cause the equipment to deteriorate and pose a risk to employees

    Statutory thorough examinations do not negate the requirement for regular servicing, inspection, and maintenance.


    Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 (LOLER 98 Regulations)

    This regulation is applicable to:

    • Any machine which lifts a load
    • Lifting accessories which attach a load to a lifting machine (e.g. a grain bucket, fork tines on a forklift)

    The usual Statutory Examination intervals are:

    • 12 months for goods lifting machines (forklift, cranes etc)
    • 6 months for personnel lifting machines (lifts, elevating work platforms etc)
    • 6 months for lifting attachments (grain buckets, fork tines on a forklift)

    These intervals can be extended or reduced in some very limited situations.


    Pressure System Safety Regulations 2000 (PSSR 2000)

    This regulation is applicable to:

    • Any business or organisation which operates pressure systems or machinery which utilises a relevant fluid to function

    What is a ‘relevant fluid’?

    • Pressurised steam
    • Compressed or liquified gas (which includes air), which is at an atmospheric pressure over 0.5 bar
    • Water pressurised above 110°C
    • A gas which dissolves when under pressure in a solvent (such as acetylene)

    What is a pressure system?

    The HSE defines pressure systems as ‘a system comprising one or more pressure vessels of rigid construction, any associated pipework, and protective devices.’

    This includes machinery such as air receivers (compressor tanks), autoclaves, and commercial coffee machines.

    There are varying examination intervals, with two types of examination:

    • Thorough examination, which includes internals, testing of safety devices, and non-destructive testing (NDT)
    • Working examination, which is a visual examination while the system is in use (normally annually)

    Each system must also have a Written Scheme of Examination (WSE) accurately reflecting the system and items that must be included within the thorough examination. ABRM include the creation of these documents within their service charge at no extra cost to the client.


    Control of Substances Hazardous to Health 2002 (COSHH 2002)

    This regulation is applicable to:

    • Spray booths
    • Fume cabinets
    • Dust extractors
    • Welding fume extractors
    • Vehicle exhaust fume extractors

    Employers have a legal responsibility to ensure that employees’ exposure to dust and fumes is minimised and well controlled.

    • Employers must assess the risks to their workers from hazardous substances (dusts, fumes, vapours) and decide what measures to put in place to protect their health.
    • If the measures they adopt include the use of extraction systems (Local Exhaust & Ventilation (LEV) then they must maintain the LEV in efficient working order.
    • A periodic thorough examination and test should be carried out at intervals of no more than 14 months. This may be as low as six-monthly, depending on the type of operations carried out.
  • Insurance experts We will identify if you require engineering inspections and for which items.
  • Inspections Will be carried by our qualified, in-house team of specialists.
  • Ongoing inspection Will be carried out by our engineer surveyors to continually ensure you comply with regulations.
  • Paperwork Is provided so you have a record of which equipment was inspected and when your next inspections are required.

Subject to renewal of the engineering inspection, this process will continue as and when items of plant and machinery are due for inspection.

Failure to have items of your plant and equipment checked means any potential liability claims may not be covered by your insurance. This can also lead to prosecutions. It is vital to seek professional guidance about your obligations. Find out more on legal requirement for your equipment and best practice for regular inspections.


  • Our engineering surveyors can provide a range of statutory inspections, ensuring you comply with the following: Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations (LOLER), Pressure Systems Safety Regulations (PSSR) and Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations (COSHH), the latter in terms of Local Exhaust Ventilation (LEV) examination and testing. The engineers also offer general advice/inspections in line with the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations (PUWER).