The MOT testing of cars operates differently in Northern Ireland to the rest of the UK. In Northern Ireland tests are required for cars from 4 years old, the system is run by the Driver and Vehicle Agency (DVA) and tests can only be carried out at state operated testing centres.
In January 2020 following routine tests faults were found with 48 out of 55 MOT lifts, this has led to tests being cancelled and a backlog developing while urgent repairs are carried out.
All lifting equipment is likely to be subject to conditions that can cause deterioration. Deterioration can lead to dangerous situations for example a lift collapsing while someone is working under it and as such it is important that it is maintained and thoroughly examined at regular intervals, this includes vehicle lifts.
Under the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations, unless it is subject to a written scheme of examination, equipment used for lifting person must be thoroughly examined at least every six months, other lifting equipment must be thoroughly examined at least every 12 months.
As persons may often be inside a vehicle that has been raised on a lift it is common practice for vehicle lifts to be inspected every 6 months.
As well as having them thoroughly examined it is also important that vehicle lifts are well maintained in line with manufacturer’s recommendations and used correctly, this can include:
- Making sure bolts fixing a lift to the floor remain tight,
- Replacing consumable items such as lifting pads before they become unsafe,
- Carrying out pre-use checks,
- Making sure vehicles are correctly balanced on the lift,
- Using additional supports when heavy items are removed from a vehicle.
Please speak to your normal PIB Risk management contact or get in touch using firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions about the management of lifting equipment or safety when working under vehicles.
Further information about issues with MOT centres in Northern Ireland can be found at: https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/articles/ongoing-issues-mot-centres