Work Equipment Good Repair and Efficient Condition

Good Repair and Efficient Condition


Good Repair

The employer must ensure that work equipment is maintained in good repair.

Here, common sense dictates that 'good repair' means good repair as regards health and safety. For example, a precious fountain pen provided for directors' use in the boardroom is work equipment and would be regarded as in poor repair if its nib became crossed. Since there are no significant health and safety risks foreseeable from using a pen with a crossed nib this duty would not require the employer to mend or renew the nib. However, if the bladder of the pen became punctured and the leakage of ink could pose a health and safety risk, the duty would require the employer to remedy the defect if he wishes it to continue in use.

Efficient Condition

The employer must also ensure that work equipment is maintained in an efficient state and in efficient working order.

'Efficient' relates to how the condition of the item might affect health or safety and not to how it affects productivity. Thus, 'efficient' would only relate to the effect the item's condition has on productivity insofar as:

  • a decline in production efficiency might lead to health and safety risks (for example, running an engine at a dangerously high speed to produce the power normally obtained at a lower speed);
  • an increase in production efficiency might lead to health and safety risks (for example, delaying replacement of a broken machine guard to retain the faster rate of loading that can be achieved by operators having clear access to unguarded dangerous parts).
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