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Maintenance and Servicing

Machinery and equipment must be inspected and maintained in a safe condition and fit for purpose. If the equipment is no longer safe or fit for purpose, it must be taken out of service or quarantined in such a way to ensure that it is not inadvertently returned to service.

Manufacturer's will supply information on the recommended frequencies for inspection and on the type of maintenance that is required at the time of purchase. Information can often also be found on the internet. Whilst some maintenance frequencies may be based on hours of use, maintaining between these times could be warranted if equipment has been taken out of use for an extended period, as parts of a system like bearings could cease and hoses and oils could degrade (for example). Particular consideration should be paid to machinery and work equipment that could fail catastrophically if not kept in good working order.

Departments should confirm arrangements for maintaining equipment for which they are responsible. An asset list of all machinery and work equipment requiring inspection, testing, servicing and maintenance should be kept and updated as new equipment is purchased or when equipment is disposed of. Maintenance records should also be maintained.

In maintenance work, conditions are very different from those encountered during the normal use of the equipment and new hazards may be introduced which should be considered in the risk assessment process. Additional controls may need to be put into place to manage any risks that could be presented at this time.

Those involved in commissioning the maintenance and those carrying out the maintenance should be aware of the hazards and the correct precautions to be taken.

Only competent personnel should carry out such maintenance work. The competency of the individual must be validated by the person engaging them to carry out the work. If procuring a contractor to carry out this work on the Department's behalf, the rules for engaging a contractor must be followed.

Maintenance, testing and inspections local exhaust ventilation systems provided to laboratories and workshops is covered in the Topic Guidance on Local Exhaust Ventilation or use the link on the right specifically for maintenance and servicing of this type of equipment).

Statutory Examination and Test

Particular machinery or work equipment warranting a Statutory Examination and Test is carried out by the University's Insurer's or other competent contractor appointed through Procurement and Insurance Services and the Estates Department. In order for such equipment to be examined and tested, Departments need to ensure that their items have been notified to the Estates Department using the Registration form (link on right hand side of this page).

Responsibility for ensuring the equipment is maintained in full working order will remain with the Department even in cases where Estates may be engaged to carry out any testing or repair work required.

    Useful Links

    What requires statutory testing?

    Register new equipment requiring statutory testing


    Risk Assessment

    Contractor Selection and Engagement

    Lifting Equipment and Lifting Accessories (maintenance and servicing for work equipment used to lift goods or people)

    Local Exhaust Ventilation (maintenance and servicing for local exhaust ventilation work equipment or systems)

    External Links

    Health and Safety Executive: Maintenance of Work Equipment