What is an Annual Service on moving and handling equipment?
In short – an annual service, or planned preventative maintenance, is like a full service for your car. They go through the manufacturer’s recommended checks, replace parts that make your equipment run smoothly and prolongs its life. Like a car service, an annual service on your patient handling equipment can address small niggles before they become an issue and threaten the long term health of your equipment. It’s about planned preventative maintenance to keep your equipment working longer in its best condition, not just a visual check like a LOLER inspection.
Unlike a car service, which is optional. A service on patient lifting equipment is regulated by (PUWER) – the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998. PUWER states that employers and others in control of work equipment are required to keep it ‘maintained in an efficient state, in efficient order and in good repair”.
PUWER advises that the frequency of maintenance should be determined by the following:
- the manufacturer’s recommendations
- the intensity of use
- operating environment (e.g. the effect of temperature, corrosion, weathering)
- user knowledge and experience
- the risk to health and safety from any foreseeable failure or malfunction
Manufacturers provide different instructions and recommendations in their user manuals, for what maintenance is required to keep equipment safe and what schedule you should keep to. Most will state that their equipment should be periodically inspected at least once a year.
It’s worth noting that PUWER applies to all work equipment including profiling beds, assisted bathing equipment without an integrated hoist, shower trolleys, couches and plinths. Whereas LOLER doesn’t apply to these.