Health and safety for equipment owners: Do you have it covered?
Knowing what equipment producers and inspectors are responsible for might seem simple enough. But what about you as the equipment owner? Do you have complete control over your own responsibilities?
Truth is, most of the responsibility for the health and safety of those using the equipment actually lies on you as the owner. Unfortunately, you can't just rest easy knowing that your suppliers and inspectors have it all covered – you have to step up yourself. But let's try to help you out!
While the specific regulations and requirements may differ somewhat from country to country and for different types of equipment, most of them are built on the same principles and ground rules. We'll try to walk you through the most important ones.
The equipment should be compliant with regulatory requirements.
The equipment should be used for its intended purpose.
The equipment should be installed and assembled according to the manufacturer's instructions.
Personnel using the equipment should be trained to use it correctly and safely.
The user manual for the equipment should be readily available near the equipment. This can be done by marking the equipment with a QR code.
The user manual should be available in the official language of the country where the equipment is used.
The user manual should be understandable for everyone, regardless of background or education.
For some equipment, such as forklifts, a pre-use check is required. A checklist and a log documenting that the check is performed should be available near the equipment.
The maintenance work should be carried out according to the maintenance manual supplied by the producer.
Appropriate maintenance routines should be established, and accompanying checklists made.
The maintenance manual and checklist should be readily available near the equipment. This can be done by marking the equipment with a QR code.
The maintenance work should be done at the required or appropriate intervals.
Maintenance work relevant to the equipment's safe use should be documented.
Inspections should be carried out according to regulatory requirements. This can mean every 12 months, every 6 months, or after repair, replacement, refitting, accident, significant change in use, a long time without use, or other relevant factors.
Some equipment also requires an extended inspection that includes testing.
The equipment should be identifiably marked. This can be done by marking the equipment with a QR code.
Documentation from the producer, such as user manuals or inspection instructions, should be available for the inspector.
Maintenance documentation relevant to the equipment's safety should be available for the inspector.
Documentation of the last inspection – if one has occurred – should be available for the inspector.
Hopefully, this gives you an idea of your responsibilities as an equipment owner. If you need any help to make sure you fulfill the requirements, don't hesitate to reach out!