What are Statutory Engineering Inspections?

Statutory Engineering Inspection refers to the periodic inspection of items of plant and equipment which is necessary in order to comply with statutory and regulatory requirements. A statutory inspection is one required by law - it is not negotiable and must be complied with.

Statutory or Engineering Inspections (“inspections”) are an essential part of ensuring the safety of your plant and machinery. They are in addition to, and entirely separate from, any servicing or maintenance arrangements.

What type of plant and equipment does it apply to?

It applies to a variety range of plant and equipment in accordance with certain regulations such the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations (LOLER), the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations (PUWER) and other regulations including the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations. Further information on inspections is also included in the
Property Management & Compliance Safe Working Procedure.

The range of plant and equipment inspected in schools would typically include any:

  • Lifts and Lifting Equipment (e.g. passenger and good lifts, scissor lifts etc)
  • Boilers and pressure plant (e.g. hot water boilers, steam vessels, pressurisation units etc)
  • Local exhaust ventilation (LEV) systems (e.g. dust extraction systems, fume cupboards)
  • Power presses (e.g. woodworking machinery)

Who carries out the inspections?

Engineering inspections are linked to the provision of Engineering Insurance and inspections therefore form part of the ‘Material Damage Insurance SLA’ offer to schools. All eligible schools that have opted to purchase the SLA will have their inspections undertaken by Zurich Municipal (“ZM”). ZM were appointed by the Council in April 2020 to undertake the statutory inspection of plant and equipment.

Those schools that are not eligible, or have chosen not to purchase the Insurance SLA, are required to make their own arrangements for the statutory inspection of plant and equipment by a competent person. All references to ZM, and the associated processes and procedures, are therefore not applicable to such schools who will need to make appropriate arrangements with their appointed service provider.

What service is Zurich Municipal contracted to provide?

They are contracted to provide ‘competent persons’ (i.e. engineer surveyors) to undertake an engineering inspection service. The contract with ZM is until at least 31st March 2023 with an option to extend for a further two years to 2025.

How do Zurich Municipal know what to inspect?

ZM have been provided with a ‘Schedule of Plant and Equipment’ detailing all the locations that have plant and equipment that has been recorded as requiring inspection. All such items are registered on ‘Crimson’ (ZM’s inspection database) including details of the last and next scheduled inspection. The completeness and accuracy of this ‘Schedule’ is the responsibility of the Council via the Responsible Persons in the respective service areas, schools, social care establishments, work depots etc.

How do I know whether a new item of plant or equipment will require statutory inspection?

Often the suppliers of plant or equipment will provide advice as to whether it requires statutory inspection. In addition, however, the ‘Responsible Person’ should refer to the Property Management & Compliance Safe Working Procedure and, if necessary, contact the Council’s Health and Safety Team (023 8091 7770) or, where appropriate, the school’s appointed health and safety advisor for advice.

How do I get an item added or deleted from the ‘Schedule’?

All such requests need to be made via Risk & Insurance Services who will issue a ‘Change Request Form’ for completion and return. The Responsible Person should however first check with the Council’s Health and Safety Team (023 8091 7770) or, where appropriate, the school’s appointed health and safety advisor for advice. This is to ensure that items are not inadvertently removed and/or are added when they do not require statutory inspection.

How are inspections arranged?

An Engineer Surveyor from ZM will contact the school in advance to give reasonable prior notice of the intended inspection. The Engineer should be advised if any plant or equipment is not going to be available for inspection. Any items not available at the time of a scheduled inspection will be issued with a ‘Not Available’ (”NA”) or ‘Not Located’ (“NL”) report. The school is responsible for ensuring that any such items are isolated or removed from use until the rearranged inspection has taken place. The school is responsible for contacting the ZM Engineer to arrange a suitable date for a revisit, when the items will be available for inspection.

Who is responsible for actioning the inspection reports?

The Responsible Person will need to ensure that inspection reports are accessed and actioned as necessary. Every time ZM carry out a statutory inspection they will produce an inspection report that is then uploaded onto their Crimson database. Schools can request to have access to this database, however in any event the Risk & Insurance Team will forward any inspection report that references a ‘defect’ by email to the school office, as a pdf attachment. The covering note will advise that the report needs to be reviewed and actioned as appropriate. Reports relating to any ‘Not Available’ and ‘Not Located’ items are also sent by email to the school office.

The reports, which provide comment and advice on the continued safe operation of plant and equipment, include a section on ‘defects’ which are categorised as follows:

  • AE - Serious Defects that pose (or could pose) a risk of injury to persons and are required to be reported to the enforcing authority (e.g. Health & Safety Executive)
  • AN - Serious Defects that pose (or could pose) a risk of injury to persons but do not require to be reported to the enforcing authority. If there is no immediate danger to persons then the report will indicate the latest date by which any rectification should be undertaken
  • BD - Defect or Other Defect – defect has been identified but it does not pose a specific immediate risk of injury to persons. The defect should be assessed, as soon as reasonably practicable, and appropriate action taken if deemed necessary
  • C – not safety defects but observations made by the Engineer and passed on for your assistance

NOTE: ZM will advise both the school and council immediately if any ‘AE’ or ‘AN’ defect is identified.

When items have been inspected and no defects identified, they are categorised as OK.

Who is responsible for organising any repairs or other remedial works?

The Responsible Person, who will need to liaise with either Property Services or the school’s appointed property maintenance provider to arrange for any required works.
For further information please contact Risk and Insurance Services on 023 8083 2835 or at insurance@southampton.gov.uk