Much safety equipment is rarely used. In many cases, of course, it is never used at all. However, safety equipment of all kinds needs to be ready to go at the moment it is needed to help deal with emergency situations. In industrial settings, employers have a duty of care over their employees to ensure that all of the safety equipment that is needed is readily available. However, this counts for nothing if the equipment cannot be used for some reason when an emergency crops up. To counter this unwanted situation, all safety equipment should be inspected and — where appropriate — tested. Why is a safety equipment inspection something you should carry out frequently?
Without an inspection and testing regime, you are not being as diligent as you should be in the workplace. Of course, you could be sued by any employee or third-party who comes onto your premises if something happens which causes a personal injury. However, the situation will be much worse if you don't have the necessary paperwork that proves you have been conducting regular safety equipment tests. If there is a failure in your safety systems, then you have a much more defensible position if you have at least been making an effort to be diligent in this area.
Although there is a fear of the legal repercussions of unchecked safety equipment, there is another economic driver that is just as important. Without safety equipment inspections making it clear that your systems are ready to go when needed, your business will inevitably suffer from increased rates of incidents. Anything from near misses to minor injuries can cause a delay in your processes even if a serious accident does not occur. As such, your entire production might be held up while you deal reactively to something. It is, of course, much better to be proactive with your safety measures—something that means frequent equipment inspection is essential.
Since many items of safety equipment are not used very often, they can develop minor faults that are hard to spot. The trouble with letting minor faults go unattended to is that they often develop into bigger ones. Even if that does not lead to a catastrophic failure of your entire safety system, it could mean a more costly repair to put right. As such, businesses which wish to keep their maintenance overheads as low as possible should invest in a proactive safety equipment testing regime.