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How Often Should Access Equipment be Inspected


24 February 2023

Inspecting your access equipment should be a regular occurrence to ensure the safety of employees and the public. Some inspections need to be formal, while others can be simple and quick to identify whether the equipment can be operated, maintained, and adjusted safely. The need for inspection, however, is a necessary task for any equipment and access platform in order to assess the risks that may result from incorrect installation, the age of equipment, and recent damage an access platform may have faced.

But what are the ways to go about inspecting a powered access platform? And what are the specific requirements to ensure you are inspecting an access platform on a regular basis? In this blog, we will answer these questions.


Let’s talk about PUWER inspection

To correctly inspect machinery and equipment in the UK workplace, and to ensure it is safe to use, there are regulations you must meet. One of these regulations is the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 - known as PUWER. One of the requirements of PUWER is that a competent person operating the machinery must examine, test, and inspect it before its first use. This is known as a PUWER inspection.

PUWER regulations fall onto people who operate, control and own any work equipment or access platform used in the workplace.

Who should carry out the inspection?

If you, or an employee, have sufficient knowledge and experience of the powered access platform, then they will be able to carry out an inspection. They must be able to know what to look at, what to look for, and the procedures to follow if they find a problem. At GT Access, we offer training programs for those working at height, whether that be in scissor lifts, cherry pickers, or boom lifts, to ensure the safety of employees, and how to carry out a proper inspection.


What is assessed during the inspection?

We know that an inspection must take place on a regular basis but what exactly is looked at to assess equipment including powered access platforms? That will depend on what type of equipment needs to be inspected. The focus of an inspection should be on the safety-related components required for the proper operation of work equipment; in some circumstances, this may entail testing or disassembly. However, not every safety-critical component on a specific piece of work equipment may need to be inspected every time.

An inspection taking place can vary, with some checks including:

  • Quick pre-checks before use – This can include testing of lights, breaks, and cable conditions on power tools. A pre-use check is not classed as an inspection under PUWER.
  • Weekly checks – This kind of check often involves a visual inspection of the exterior of equipment to determine if it has any deterioration and to ensure all parts such as tire pressure, guarding, and extendable platforms on access platforms such as scissor lifts have any faults.
  • Detailed examination – Detailed examinations often take place every few months and will be a full run-through of the equipment checking and inspecting all the features to ensure full functionality, or the need to replace any parts or seek repairs. For powered access platforms, this detailed inspection would focus on exterior damages, emergency stop protocols, and the examination of safety harnesses.


What about re-inspection?

Believe it or not, inspecting equipment too often and frequently can cause problems. Carrying out more inspections than are needed can lead to equipment failure, such as emergency stop buttons, if they are tested too much during pre-use checks.

Re-inspection should be carried out at suitable intervals, but it can depend on the conditions that the equipment is exposed to. Equipment that is used in harsh outdoor conditions will need to be inspected more frequently than equipment that is used in a warehouse location. The frequency of inspection depends on factors including the manufacturer’s recommendations, risk assessment, and experience. Records must be kept following weekly checks, detailed examinations, and PUWER inspections, as to ensure more efficient risk assessments to decide the frequency of inspection.


How GT Access can help

By purchasing or hiring a powered access platform with GT Access, we ensure that all our equipment will be inspected for any faults, and our machines are all sold or rented with a full LOLER certificate, meaning your business can operate at maximum effectiveness. We offer training programs to get you up to speed on how to inspect and operate an access platform correctly and safely.

Get in touch and speak to a member of our expert team about your business and training requirements.