The HSE’s position remains that the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations (LOLER) and Pressure Systems Safety Regulations (PSSR) remain in place and must be adhered to throughout the coronavirus pandemic; however, they have now issued guidance, which confirms that they will take a more pragmatic approach to enforcement action for non-compliance with the thorough examination and testing (TE&T) requirements where that non-compliance is directly attributable to COVID-19.
The HSE recognises that the COVID-19 pandemic may cause difficulties for operators in meeting the TE&T requirements for LOLER and PSSR and the guidance confirms that the HSE’s usual enforcement response will be to take no action if the only failing is that TE&T is not carried out by the required date and that failing is directly attributable to COVID-19.
The guidance does, however, emphasise that equipment should only continue to be used (where there has been non-compliance with the TE&T requirements) if it can be shown that it is critical for essential work (i.e. work the Government have identified as being critical to the COVID-19 response) and that it can still be operated safely.
Operators must also be able to demonstrate that they have made all reasonable attempts to have the TE&T carried out and that they have made an appropriate assessment of the increased risks and have taken appropriate action to manage them.
More information can be found here.
For further guidance contact a member of our Regulatory Team on 01254 828300 or email firstname.lastname@example.org