Motor vehicle repair businesses urged to check engineering inspection cover
No matter the industry, all employers have a duty of care whereby they need to ensure any equipment or machinery is installed properly, operates safely and is maintained appropriately in order to protect the health and safety of its employees.
Leon Bosch, Managing Director of the UK Automotive practice at commercial insurance broker, risk management specialist and consulting firm Gallagher, discusses the critical importance of regular and robust inspections of lifting equipment for businesses in the motor vehicle repair industry.
“Just as car owners are legally required to have an MOT test carried out on their vehicle, any lifting or pressure equipment in a vehicle repair garage is subject to thorough examination to ensure it’s safe to use. Research by the Health and Safety Executive revealed that a total of 147 people were killed at work in Great Britain in 2018/19, 14 of which were caused by machinery*. And whilst fatal injuries are thankfully rare occurrences, businesses need to be doing all they can to prevent accidents.
“Nearly all equipment used at work is subject to the Provision of Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER), which places duties on employers, the self-employed and those who control work equipment. At the same time, regulations outlined in the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations (LOLER) place the duty of care on anybody who owns, operates or has control over lifting equipment and its accessories, and requires all equipment to be fit for purpose. In order to meet these requirements, the equipment must undergo regular and thorough examinations carried out by a ‘competent person’, with any defects being reported and rectified in a timely manner.
“Lifting equipment and its accessories should be examined before using it for the first time, after assembly and before use at each location, and regularly serviced thereafter — at least every six to 12 months. It’s equally important to keep and maintain continuous records of all inspections so that they can be readily available for health and safety inspections that may occur.
“Having such robust inspections carried out on a regular basis will not only help to protect business owners and their employees from physical danger, but also help a business’ defence in the event of any unwelcome court cases. For example, if a fatal accident caused by lifting equipment should occur and it’s revealed that the equipment hadn’t been certified, the business owner could be faced with heavy fines or even a prison sentence due to corporate manslaughter.
“To ensure your vehicle repair company’s approach to health and safety is as robust as possible, make sure your lifting equipment is regularly inspected and certified, and your health and safety policy is up to date. This will help to achieve and maintain compliance with minimum disruption to the business, as well as peace of mind that your business is operating in a safe and responsible manner.
“The key priority for garage owners, above all else, is to ensure the safety of their employees and protect their business. Gallagher has a range of different insurance companies through which we can arrange competent inspections.”
Gallagher’s automotive practice, which has specialist broking teams in Luton, Coventry, Cardiff and Glasgow, focuses on tailored solutions for the full breadth of the sector, spanning seven key customer segments: main multi-franchised dealerships; non-franchised dealerships; accident repairs/body repairers; MOT stations; mechanical servicing and repairs; SMART repairers; and tyre and exhaust fitment centres.
Gallagher is pleased to provide MOT Loss of Licence cover as standard for any RMI member with an authorised MOT centre taking out an Allianz insurance package, available to RMI members when you purchase an Allianz Motor Trade Policy from Gallagher via the RMI. or call the IGA member helpline on 0845 305 4230.