Many construction sites are starting to reopen after a temporary suspension of works for the past four or five weeks during the coronavirus pandemic.
The CPA’s four-page document is called Guidance for enhanced pre-operational checks on plant following post Covid-19 site lockdowns.
Some items of construction plant have been parked up since sites were abruptly shut down and may not have been sufficiently prepared for extended non-operational periods.
While most modern plant is reliable and can cope with extended periods without maintenance, a period of non-use can have noticeable effects when placing plant back into service after an extended period.
The CPA advises that, for both safety and machine efficiency, the operator or maintenance team undertake an enhanced pre-operational check and basic maintenance regime in addition to the normal daily pre-use checks specified by the manufacturer.
The CPA guidance is focussed on the primary areas of machine components that require checks over and above normal manufacturer-derived pre-operational activities and are applicable for common mobile and static-type plant. The main message is that for most plant, normal but enhanced checks – predominately visual – should be carried out before operation and that employers and supervisors should allow sufficient time for operators and/or maintenance teams to carry them out.
The guidance is not intended to apply to all plant types but provides an overview of what should be taken into account when re-instating plant left for an extended period due to site shutdown or restrictions. Compliance needs to be maintained at all times with relevant regulations such as the Provision & Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER) and the Lifting Equipment & Lifting Operations Regulations 1998 (LOLER).
The guidance document can be downloaded for free from the CPA website at www.cpa.uk.net/news-events/guidanceenhancedpre-operationalchecks