Bates FMC’s customers often ask ‘what are the minimum maintenance requirements for us to stay within the law’, we believe the answer to this comes from a number of recent high profile cases where employees have been held personally liable for non-compliance and have not been able to hide under a corporate insurance. As a result of such cases the small print on insurance policies are getting more and more particular. A statutory test or inspection is not negotiable and must be complied with by law, failure to comply will result in a large fine and possibly a custodial sentence for the person or persons responsible for the non-compliance.

Air Conditioning

You must have an air conditioning maintenance plan in place, frequency directly correlates with the weight of refrigerant.

  • Every 12 months (for buildings over 3 kg refrigerant)
  • Every 6 months (for buildings over 30kg refrigerant)
  • Every 3 months (for buildings over 300kg refrigerant)

European Union F-gas Regulation No. 842/2006

Pressure Vessels

Any vessel in which pressure is stored (greater than .5bar or 7psi) and has a capacity greater than 250 bar / litres will need a written scheme of operation. Certificates of inspections should be kept on site for reference purposes, these systems are covered under the H&S AWA Pressure Systems Safety Regulations.

Gas Equipment

All commercial gas appliances must be inspected annually under the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998.

Annual gas safety: You must ensure that any gas appliances (permanent or portable) and gas flues that you own or are providing for use must have regular gas safety checks. Gas safety checks are needed by: Landlords, Housing associations, Local authorities, Hotels and B&Bs, Colleges, Boarding schools, Hostels etc. For example, within the Hotel & Leisure sector you must arrange an annual gas safety check for any gas appliances serving guest accommodation, even if it is located in a different area.

Water/ Legionella

A valid Legionella Risk Assessment must be in place. Monthly testing and logging of water temperatures should also be carried out. A ‘responsible person(s)’ should be identified and trained under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 1988.

Emergency Lights

If your Emergency Lighting is three years old or more then the system must undergo a 3hr test on an annual basis; a level of 1.0 lux is also required at floor level for named escape routes. Records of systems, whether they be central battery or single inverter packs are required showing the results of the tests and what actions (if any) are required to rectify the fault and confirmation that the system is working correctly after any works. See The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 for reference.

Fire Systems

A Fire Risk Assessment must be in place and should be reviewed at regular intervals. All automatic fire detection systems are required to be tested and maintained, record keeping of service visits / inspections and weekly “bell testing” should be kept as proof of the maintenance regime. A ‘responsible person(s)’ should be identified and trained under The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

Sprinkler Systems and Dry risers

All Sprinkler systems must comply with BS5306 and equipment must be approved by the Loss Prevention Council (LPC) 3B6, (LPC) 1048. The testing of such systems must be completed by “the nominated person who must be accredited by the LPC”.

Eye Bolt Testing

A certificate of compliance is needed, also load testing is required on an annual basis.  A record of these certificates and service reports must be kept as this is our only way of proving the system is safe and meets the current standards.

Lifts

All lifts provided for use in work environments must be tested and inspected by a competent person at regular intervals, these tests / inspections should be set in line with the companies risk assessment. See The Lifting operations & lifting equipment regulations 1998 (LOLER) Regulation 9 for reference.

Lightning Conductors

All lightning conductors and earth grounding installations should be visually inspected and tested at regularly fixed intervals, preferably no longer than 12 months between each test.  Testing must be carried out to BS 6651. Section 5 of Electricity at Work Act 1989

Risk Assessment

Site specific risk assessments are required for tasks /environments which pose a significant risk to life or property, the risk assessment must be undertaken by a competent person. The assessment must detail the hazards and risks, as well as noting the control measures that are required to safely control these risks / hazards. The findings must be shared with those who could be affected by the potential risks / hazards.

The risk for non-compliance?

The risks can be huge for you and your company, ranging from fines to imprisonment, these maintenance activities save lives and reduce the chances of injury.