Abaris International offer bespoke Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) inspection services for companies involved in Work at height and outdoor pursuits. Our services range from: inspection and report on current systems in place, through to complete inspection, assessment, marking and logging of all specialist Work at Height / Confined Space / Outdoor Pursuits equipment and introduction of best practice systems. Our clients range from individual rope access technicians (with a single set of rope access equipment) up to Fire and Rescue Services (with multiple Rope Rescue / USAR equipment).
We are happy to arrange collection / return of your equipment by courier (you are likely to find our courier charges substantially less than arranging your own) and we can limit the time the equipment is 'off the run' (a recent example: collected by our courier on a Thursday, delivered to us, inspected and sent back on a Friday for a pre-9am delivery on the Monday). The bulk of our last Fire and Rescue Service rope rescue equipment inspection (a fully loaded rope rescue vehicle) was completed in less than one day and was done bag by bag ensuring the rope rescue team was never off the run.
Please ensure any equipment being sent in for inspection is washed and dried before being sent, as equipment cannot be easily or fully inspected when covered in grime. Washing ropes, slings etc will also remove ingrained dirt, which if left can cause internal wear and thus reduce the lifetime of a product.
Why do you need a fully qualified and experienced competent person to inspect work equipment?
It's the law!
'Thorough examinations' by a 'competent person' of any lifting equipment used for lifting persons (such as Rope Access Personal Protective Equipment) are required by law to be conducted at least every 6 months (or less if recommended by the equipment manufacturer) as detailed in the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations (LOLER) 1998 (Regulation 9).
- 9. (1) Every employer shall ensure that before lifting equipment is put into service for the first time by him it is thoroughly examined for any defect unless either —
- (a) the lifting equipment has not been used before; and
- (b) in the case of lifting equipment for which an EC declaration of conformity could or (in the case of a declaration under the Lifts Regulations 1997) should have been drawn up, the employer has received such declaration made not more than 12 months before the lifting equipment is put into service; or, if obtained from the undertaking of another person, it is accompanied by physical evidence referred to in paragraph (4).
- (2) Every employer shall ensure that, where the safety of lifting equipment depends on the installation conditions, it is thoroughly examined—
- (a) after installation and before being put into service for the first time; and
- (b) after assembly and before being put into service at a new site or in a new location, to ensure that it has been installed correctly and is safe to operate.
- (3) Subject to paragraph (6), every employer shall ensure that lifting equipment which is exposed to conditions causing deterioration which is liable to result in dangerous situations is—
- (a) thoroughly examined—
- (i) in the case of lifting equipment for lifting persons or an accessory for lifting, at least every 6 months;
- (ii) in the case of other lifting equipment, at least every 12 months; or
- (iii) in either case, in accordance with an examination scheme; and
- (iv) each time that exceptional circumstances which are liable to jeopardise the safety of the lifting equipment have occurred; and
- (b) if appropriate for the purpose, is inspected by a competent person at suitable intervals between thorough examinations, to ensure that health and safety conditions are maintained and that any deterioration can be detected and remedied in good time.
The Work at Height Regulations 2005 (Regulation 12 (3)) require that equipment which is exposed to conditions which may cause deterioration or each time exceptional circumstances have occurred should be inspected.
- (3) Every employer shall ensure that work equipment exposed to conditions causing deterioration which is liable to result in dangerous situations is inspected—
- (a) at suitable intervals; and
- (b) each time that exceptional circumstances which are liable to jeopardise the safety of the work equipment have occurred, to ensure that health and safety conditions are maintained and that any deterioration can be detected and remedied in good time.
Intermittent inspections in between thorough examinations (in addition to standard pre-use checks) should be carried out in accordance with your risk assessment as required under the Management of Health and Safety at Work (MHSW) Regulations 1999.
The Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992 (as amended) require employers to maintain fall arrest equipment in good repair, including appropriate replacement.
The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations (PUWER) 1998 no longer applies to work equipment for lifting loads including persons (Regulation 6 - 5c)
Logging of the 'thorough examinations' and intermittent 'inspections'
Under LOLER, a 'thorough examination' report must be made by the competent person as soon as is practicable and any defects reported forthwith to the employer and any person from whom the lifting equipment has been hired or leased. A report of any defects which involve 'an existing or imminent risk of serious personal injury' must be sent to the relevant enforcing authority.
'Certificate of conformities' should be kept for so long as the lifting equipment remains in use, whilst the 'thorough examination' reports must be kept for at least 2 years. Both should be readily available to the end user and to inspectors from any relevant enforcing authority in the case of a 'thorough examination'.
The intermittent 'inspection' reports should be kept until the next 'inspection or' 'thorough examination'.
Why use Abaris International Limited?
The HSE have provided a basic guide to LOLER regulations and how they apply to rope based access systems for work at height. In addition Industrial Rope Access Trade Association (IRATA) Information Sheet No.1 gives guidance on LOLER to those involved in Work at Height and states that 'It is essential that the person carrying out a thorough examination is sufficiently independent and impartial to allow objective decisions to be made i.e. have appropriate and genuine authority to discard equipment'.
Abaris International Limited are experienced in the inspection of Work at Height PPE and can provide you with an independent and impartial view, not only on your equipment but also on your processes for inspecting, logging and maintaining your equipment. Our aim is not just to inspect your equipment but to implement an inspection regime which will help you comply with the legislation.