Legislative Compliance – Why hiring is better than buying
Many equipment items which are used on commercial job sites and even at private premises are subject to legally enforceable regulations. As an individual it is often difficult to be aware of what these regulations are. Unfortunately for the user and/or owner of the equipment, especially in a commercial environment, ignorance is not considered a defence and fines can apply.
Good hire companies such as Centenary Hire for example, are aware of many of these regulations and abide by them. Their network of industry associations, supplier relationships and subscriptions to relevant media allows them to keep up to date with both new and changed regulation requirements.
Here are a few examples of commonly hired equipment that is subject to legislative compliance.
Electrical test and tagging is a process that is required to occur on a 3-monthly basis. It involves the process of visually inspecting as well as electrically testing in-service electrical equipment in industries such as construction, demolition and mining. It covers equipment such as portable generators, submersible pumps and the good old 230mm (9”) angle grinder.
Outside of these industries, there is not legal requirement for commercial workplaces to test and tag however, the employer does have a duty of care to ensure that all electrical equipment is safe. This usually results in a 12 month test and tag process for things like fridges, photocopiers, computers etc.
Similarly, a portable earth leakage unit (RCD) is also subject to the electrical test and tag regulation but it must also have the residual current device component of it tested every 12 months. This test is ensuring that the speed of its activation is within an acceptable tolerance.
Elevating work platforms such as cherry pickers, vertical masts and scissor lifts are subject to both 90 day and 12 month inspections. Machines that do not pass their 12 month inspection may no longer be used in a commercial environment until any faults are rectified and a certificate of compliance is obtained. Machines which have a power outlet on the work platform such as a scissor lift also require an electrical test tag.
Fall arrest apparatus such as safety harness which are used with elevating work platforms and roofers’ safety kits which are often used when working on a roof surface, are subject to two regulatory timeframes. During ownership a fall arrest apparatus is required to be inspected by some qualified person every 6 months. The second time frame is 10 years after the manufacture date known as the “Remove from Service” date. This is recorded on a compliance information placard and regardless of the condition of the apparatus, once the “Remove from Service” date is reached it can no longer be used.
Lifting equipment too, such as a 1 tonne chain hoist, is subject to a load test every 12 months.
If you would like any guidance or have any questions, please do not hesitate to talk with our friendly team at the Hire Desk.
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