A thorough examination is a systematic and detailed examination of the lifting equipment and all its associated equipment by a competent person. Its aim is to detect any defects which are, or might become, dangerous, and for the competent person to report them to the site owner and, if appropriate, the enforcing authority (the Health and Safety Executive or local authority) so that appropriate remedial action can be taken.
To determine the extent of the thorough examination, the competent person will assess the risks, considering factors such as where the lift will be used, frequency of use, age and condition, the weight of loads to be lifted, etc.
A thorough examination may include some testing, if the competent person considers it to be necessary. The competent person will normally determine what tests are required, taking account of the relevant guidance and standards, and site owners are recommended to insist on this approach.
Thorough examination may also be supplemented by inspection. Inspections should be carried out at suitable intervals between thorough examinations and may be done ‘in-house’ by a competent, trained employee. Inspections would normally include visual and functional checks, eg that the alarm interlocks operate correctly and lift doors cannot be opened from the landing side.
Thorough examination should not be confused with preventive maintenance or routine maintenance, although they have some elements in common. Preventive maintenance usually involves replacing worn or damaged parts, topping up fluid levels and making routine adjustments to ensure risks are avoided. Thorough examination may act as a check that maintenance is being carried out properly, but is not intended to replace it.
Thorough examination should include the following:
- Main drive system components;
- Safety gear;
- Ropes or chains;
- Overload detection devices;
- Electrical devices (including earthing, earth bonding, safety devices, selection of fuses, etc);
- Braking systems (including buffers and overspeed devices); and
More information from the HSE HERE