Mechanical inspections

Mechanical inspections -alasivu

The employer must ensure that machines used in work are safe throughout the useful life of the machines.  

Some of the machines must be inspected by an expert or an expert body.

Inspections of machines subject to periodic inspections: 

An initial inspection must be carried out when a piece of work equipment is commissioned for the first time, whenever modifications are introduced that could have major safety implications or whenever equipment is installed in a new location. An inspection must also be carried out when a piece of equipment is used again for the first time after a long period of inactivity. 

The objective of an initial inspection is to ensure that the equipment has been properly assembled and that all the controls and safety devices work as intended. In the case of lifting machinery, a load test must also be carried, where necessary, out to verify the machinery’s structural strength and stability. 

Periodic inspections are usually carried out at one-year intervals after the initial inspection for equipment in use. The interval between inspections can also be shorter or longer depending on how and for what the machinery is used. Periodic inspections are designed to ensure that the machinery works as intended and especially that no risk is posed by wear, material fatigue, corrosion or other damage. 

Thorough periodic inspections are required if the machinery is being operated close to the design limits specified by the manufacturer or, if these are not known, when 10 years have passed since the machinery was first commissioned. A thorough periodic inspection involves dismantling components that cannot otherwise be inspected. In the case of lifting machinery, examples of such components include boom covers and pivot pins. Non-destructive inspection methods must be used. 

The types of machinery listed in the Safe Use Decree must not be used for work if it they have not been properly inspected. 

The inspectors must record their findings in their notes. The notes must show, for example, any faults that can compromise safety and instructions for remedying and eliminating the faults. The inspectors’ notes must be kept for as long as the machinery is in use. Notes from the most recent inspection must be kept at the workplace. 

An English version of the Government Decree on the Safe Use and Inspection of Work Equipment (403/2008) is available online, including the annex listing the required inspections by machinery groups. The English translation may not include the latest legislative changes, please see Finlex Data Bank for details.