What is a Thorough Examination?
A Thorough Examination is a bit like a car’s MOT. Both a Thorough Examination and an MOT are means of certifying that, at the time of testing, all components which have a bearing on safety have been formally inspected and assessed as being in a safe condition.
Is a Thorough Examination a legal requirement?
In short, yes. It is required under two pieces of Health and Safety legislation:
- LOLER 98 (Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998) – which covers lifting components.
- PUWER 98 (Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998) which deals with all other safety-related items, such as brakes, steering and tyres.
Just as a car’s MOT and 10,000 mile service are two different things, a Thorough Examination is distinctly separate from a truck’s regular maintenance programme.
Whose job is it to arrange the service?
Where the employer is also the outright owner of the truck, the implication of this duty (in the light of LOLER 98 and PUWER 98) is clear: the employer must arrange a regular Thorough Examination schedule appropriate to the truck and its use. Clearly, a truck working in an outdoors environment will have different requirements than one being used in a warehouse.
Does this apply if it is rented?
If the truck is leased, or rented on a long-term basis (12 months or more), the responsibilities are the same as if it was owned outright, and the duty remains with the employer of the truck operator.
What about a short term rental?
If the truck is provided on a short term basis (one day to one year) the rental company has responsibility for arranging Thorough Examination as its owner, but the employer of the truck’s operator must still satisfy themselves that the truck carries a valid Thorough Examination – usually by insisting on having a copy of the Thorough Examination included with the rental documentation.
What else do I need to know?
The truck must have a valid Thorough Examination whenever it leaves an owner’s undertaking. In effect, when it changes hands, or, is transferred between companies, whether on a temporary or permanent basis.
How often must a Thorough Examination be carried out?
At least every 12 months. Depending on the application, the intensity of use and the nature of any attachments, the regulations may require this interval to be reduced to 6 or even 4 months.
The person carrying out the Thorough Examination, the ‘Competent Person’, will be able to determine the appropriate interval.
The same person should also be consulted for advice on whether planned changes to the truck’s operation or configuration will alter this interval.