COVID-19 Update: Safety Inspection Warning Issued to Refrigeration Plant Operators
As the COVID-19 lockdown continues, Star Technical Solutions (STS) has issued an urgent reminder that plant safety inspections must not be delayed.
STS is urging plant operators to address their ongoing legal obligations regarding the safety of refrigeration and HVAC equipment. The company warns there is a limit to the length of time that plant inspections can be delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
An urgent call to action has been issued to any firms that postponed plant safety inspections at the start of the UK-wide lockdown in March. STS is also urging plant operators that are currently considering a postponement to seek expert advice.
STS Senior Consultant David Blackhurst says: “At the start of the COVID-19 lockdown, some refrigeration plant operators postponed safety inspections due to site access restrictions and H&S concerns. According to HSE regulations, any postponement is a time limited situation, from the required inspection date. STS considers that this cannot be longer than 8 to 12 weeks, so action must now be taken as a matter of urgency.”
He adds: “It is vital to seek expert advice if a safety inspection postponement is in place or now being considered. Inspection delays are acceptable if based on certain technical criteria, but with an agreed time limit applied. Safety inspections are a time-sensitive legal requirement and cannot be delayed indefinitely.”
STS advises that plant operators must remain legally compliant with HSE regulations throughout the current COVID-19 pandemic. The company has continued to undertake safety inspections and hazard assessments during lockdown to ensure clients meet their legal obligations.
David Blackhurst adds: “We appreciate the difficulties and potential risks faced at sites which remain on lockdown to outside personnel. When granted safe access, our engineering consultants are committed to working within strict government guidelines in order to ensure plant is tested, safe and legally compliant.”
As Star Refrigeration’s technical advisory service, STS has a dedicated team of technical consulting engineers, providing expert guidance to operators of cooling and HVAC systems. The company is continuing to provide an essential support service for food production, processing, storage and distribution, as well as advising plant operators in key industries, including healthcare and IT/communication.