The Medaco team is proud to supply a range of market-leading health and patient care products to customers throughout the UK and a large part of what we do is to ensure that each and every piece of equipment is fit for purpose and properly inspected and maintained.
However, during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, there has been an sustained period of uncertainty and restrictions on movements. The Health and Safety Executive have provided updates regarding statutory inspections during the COVID-19 crisis.
Under the current Pressure Systems Safety Regulations (PSSR) 2000 and the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations (LOLER) 1998, we have an obligation to maintain equipment, completing thorough and statutory examinations to mitigate risk, hazards or equipment failure.
HSE updates for Statutory inspections during COVID-19
The HSE has confirmed that during the COVID-19 crisis, they expect duty holders to make reasonable efforts to arrange thorough examination and testing within legal time limits. Examination and testing is still a legal requirement and a fundamental part of management to ensure equipment doesn’t fail, create physical harm or business disruption.
The HSE understands that there will be difficulties faced during the outbreak including:
- A backlog of thorough examination and testing inspections not done during lock down
- Lack of staff and contractor availability to prepare complex pressure systems for examination
- Refusal of engineers to enter duty holder premises to carry out thorough examination and testing, because they think working arrangements may not be safe
Medaco have ensured that where our engineers are working within restricted sites due to COVID-19 they must comply with site rules, taking into account the wider Public Health England advice on good hygiene practices, PPE and safe distancing.
The HSE is advising both owners of lifting equipment and companies that carry out examinations/testing on lifting equipment for the lifting of individuals, to continue to carry out examinations every six months. An inspection must include a dated report for the lift owner otherwise any lifting equipment that has not been inspected with a six month period should not be used.
For those of us that offer an equipment testing, maintenance, and inspection service whilst unfortunately facing staff shortages, the HSE has quite rightly asked us to prioritise support for the most vulnerable including; hospitals and care homes. HSE will keep the situation under review however there are no plans to issue any exemptions to LOLER requirements.
For those of you that have patient care equipment that fall within these regulations, you must ensure they are inspected and maintained and the Medaco team will, as always, do all we can to support you over the next few months and beyond.
Patient and carer safety is our absolute propriety. For our customers that need equipment to be inspected, please ensure you do so in line with the HSE guidance and contact us to make an appointment for one of our engineers to visit you.
Find out more about LOLER and PUWER inspections and why are they important?