Regulation 30: Inspection of work equipment
30. An employer shall ensure that—
(a) where the safety of work equipment depends on the installation conditions—
(i) an initial inspection is carried out after installation is completed and before it is first
put into service, and
(ii) an inspection is carried out after assembly at any new site or in any new location, and
that the work equipment is installed correctly and is operating properly,
(b) in the case of work equipment which is exposed to conditions causing deterioration liable to
result in a danger to safety or health—
(i) periodic inspections and, where appropriate, testing is carried out,
(ii) special inspections are carried out when exceptional circumstances arise which are
liable to make the work equipment unsafe, including modification work, accidents,
natural phenomena or prolonged inactivity, and
(iii) deterioration is detected and remedied in good time,
(c) inspections carried out under paragraphs (a) and (b) are carried out by a competent person
and are appropriate to the nature, location and use of the work equipment,
(d) the results of inspections carried out under paragraphs (a) and (b) are recorded and kept
available for 5 years from the date of inspection, for inspection by an inspector, and access
to these records is made available to users of the work equipment upon request, and
(e) when work equipment is used in another place of work, it is accompanied by evidence of the
last inspection carried out under paragraphs (a) and (b).
Regulation 30 is far reaching in its scope and is not limited to any particular piece of equipment. It
covers the requirements for inspection and the availability of inspection records.
It relates to both work equipment which is permanently installed at a location and to that which is
moved from place to place requiring assembly each time. In either case equipment should not go into
use until it has been inspected by a competent person to ensure that it has been properly installed and is
safe for operation. Evidence of such inspections must be recorded and kept available for Health and
Safety Authority inspection.
All work equipment is subject to varying levels of deterioration. Deterioration could be due to a range
of factors, including corrosion, chemical attack, erosion, friction, fatigue, impact damage etc., which in
turn can lead to erratic machine behaviour, structural failure, loss of containment of dangerous
substances, failure to maintain adequate protection around dangerous parts and so on. Reference to
equipment includes any associated monitoring and alarm systems.
Employers are required to set up programmes to maintain the integrity of work equipment by a system
of ongoing monitoring which will detect deterioration in sufficient time to allow remedial measures to
be taken. The inspection frequency should be based on how quickly the work equipment, or its parts,
are likely to deteriorate and therefore give rise to unacceptable risk. In some cases, such as steam
boilers in factories, there are statutory duties which determine the minimum level of inspection and
Guide to the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (General Application)
testing. On occasion, testing will be required; this may be called for in the
manufacturer’s instructions, specified in a Regulation or guidance document or
required by the competent person.
Inspection results should be stored in a secure manner and be readily retrievable
when required. While Regulation 30 does not prescribe the details to be examined
or the format of the inspection results, these details may be prescribed under other
Regulations for certain types of plant. Advice may also be found in relevant
standards or codes of practice.
The scheme of inspections must take into account the known failure mechanisms of
the work equipment.
In general, records should contain information on the:
• Type and model of equipment
• Means of identification
• Date of inspection
• Personnel who carried out the inspection
• Extent of inspection or test
• Faults found
• Remedial measures required, including deadlines for action
• Details of remedial action that has been taken.
The employees who use the equipment are entitled to see the inspection reports.
Evidence of the last inspection may take the form of a copy of the report for large
items of plant and some form of labelling or tagging for smaller items.
See also Regulation 52 which is specific to the examination and testing of lifting