Health & Safety Guide to Moving Heavy Machinery

If you are a factory manager, project manager or operations manager/director of a manufacturing facility, one of your key responsibilities will be to continually assess and improve operational efficiency.

Health and Safety Guide to Moving Heavy Machinery | Merritts

Your review may highlight issues related to machine performance and location which may lead to the purchase and installation of new machinery, the removal of out dated machinery, or a decision to re-locate machinery to a position that will improve efficiency.

In today’s highly competitive world, even a tiny saving on manufacturing costs can be the difference between winning new contracts, saving jobs and increasing output.

Here at Merritts, we have developed over 95 years of heavy machinery moving experience and can add valuable insight and expertise which can help your machinery moving project run smoothly, on time, to budget and without injury or incident!

Project Planning

The ideal time to involve us is as soon as the decision has been made.

The earlier the better for us as we can help you plan the detail and ensure the equipment and transport you need is available exactly when you need it.

Very often manufacturers plan projects around scheduled factory shutdowns, such as Easter, Christmas and Summer holiday – and by definition this can be a busy time for companies like us who have the specialist gear you need. This can mean paying a premium price or having to use companies who may not have all the right skills, experience and health and safety accreditations to ensure your project runs smoothly without any accidents.


Regulation 5 of the management of health and safety at work regulations 1999 requires that the health and safety arrangements in place are suitable for the size of the undertaking, and that work is suitably planned, organised and controlled. Further to this where an employer has 5 or more employees these arrangements must be recorded.

This is part of the service that Merritts provide. Our technical sales managers can visit your site to assess the works and advise on the safest way to do the job, providing the appropriate supporting documentation including method statements, risks assessments, lift plans, as well as appropriate training and service records.

There is also the question as to whether the project falls under ‘The Construction Design and Management regulations (CDM 2015).

Doing the job, yourself

Of course, there is always the option to do the job yourself using your existing workforce with hired in equipment, but you should consider whether you have the required competencies in house to complete the tasks safely.

Health and safety law requires that works are carried out by competent people. Competence should be considered a combination of training, experience and behaviour. You may have employees who are trained to drive a forklift truck but if they only work with palletised loads day to day, they may not have the required experience to use the same equipment to move a machine or other heavy load. This could lead to some awkward questions from the HSE or your insurers should an accident occur.

Another common risk is using equipment that is already available on site rather than exploring the options of using more appropriate specialist equipment. Under the provision and use of work equipment regulations employers must make sure that equipment is suitable for the purpose for which it is used.

When enforcing this legislation, the HSE will look to industry best practice to decide on enforcement. They could consider a prosecution depending on the seriousness of an accident and how far below the expected standard the company fell.

Why Merritts?

We have HGV vehicles, low loaders and tackle vans which carry a wide array of lifting machinery, giving our fully trained operatives numerous options as to how to conduct lifting operations. We are therefore always able to select the safest option based on the load, the working environment and their experience.

As well as machinery moving we also provide services such as floor preparation, match marking, core drilling, bolting down of machinery and alignment and levelling. We support this with electrical and mechanical services and commissioning. We can even store obsolete machinery in our secure storage facility and offer bonded warehousing for new machinery.

As well as ensuring your project is done safely and efficiently by a heavy machinery moving specialist, involving Merritts early in your plans means we can give you the very best advice and help you understand the regulations to which you must comply and ensure you complete all the necessary paperwork for your project.

If you are considering a project that requires moving heavy machinery, please complete an enquiry form.

January 24, 2019 by Lincoln Marks

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