A roller shutter is a complex piece of machinery, and, when kept in good working order, provides a convenient, secure and cost-effective solution for any business.

To make sure that roller shutters are able to provide years and years of safe and efficient service, it’s important to know the rules and regulations surrounding maintenance and repairs of both domestic and commercial roller shutters. So this week that’s exactly what we’re looking at.

Why are maintenance regulations necessary?

Roller shutters are classed as machinery, and can be prone to failure over time, especially with regular or excessive use. Accidents involving roller shutters, whether at home or in a  commercial/industrial setting can be incredibly dangerous, so regulations are in place to avoid this eventuality as far as possible. A key part of this is focused on maintenance. Looking after a roller shutter – and checking to see that it operates as it should at scheduled intervals – is key to identifying any potential problems and avoiding risk.

Regulation 5 of the Workplace (Health Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992

Under this regulation, any powered door – including roller shutters – are to be “maintained in an efficient state” and are “subject to a suitable system of maintenance”.

Looking further into this, the regulation states that potentially dangerous equipment should be: “checked at regular intervals, as appropriate, by inspection, testing, adjustment, lubrication, repair and cleaning.”

The regularity of these checks aren’t specified. Instead, they are decided depending on the machine in question, as well as how much it is used, where it installed and according to manufacturer’s guidelines. When purchasing a roller shutter, talk to your supplier for advice on a suitable maintenance schedule specific to you and your business.

Responding to faults

Dangerous faults which endanger personnel should be attended to immediately. Safety devices dedicated to force limitation or obstruction detection may fail, and this causes the roller shutter to become a severe hazard to workers. In these cases, the fault should be identified, the door disconnected and, and repairs made as quickly as possible. The door should remain out of use until a professional has inspected the fault, made the necessary repairs and tested the door to ensure that is can again be operated safely and reliably.

When a fault occurs which does not pose a serious hazard, but impedes the operation of the door – a broken control switch, for example – you can take the door out of service, and arrange for an inspection and repairs to be made at a later date. However, in an industrial or commercial setting, faults will likely be better rectified as soon as possible, even if they aren’t immediately dangerous, so as to ensure a swift return to normal operation in the premises.

Regulation 5 of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER)

PUWER is focused on the responsibilities of employers, owners and users of powered doors. These regulations are designed to “ensure work equipment does not deteriorate to the extent that it may put people at risk”.

As with the previous regulation, PUWER decrees that powered doors are “maintained in an efficient state, in efficient order and in good repair”. The onus here falls on the person in charge to ensure that any roller shutter on the premises is regularly inspected, as per manufacturer’s guidelines, and more regularly if necessary.

PUWER also states that, if a maintenance log is required, employers must keep there’s up to date.

A log book should record all maintenance inspections and work carried out, including:

Time and date of inspection/maintenance
Details of any work carried out
Results of inspection
Details of any additions/replacements/upgrades made to the door
Nature of the fault
Signature and information of the person responsible for carrying out the inspection/repair.

To ensure that you understand all the regulations that are associated with roller shutters, you can discuss your responsibilities with your supplier before and after installation.