Helping keep people safe this Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day brings with it a flurry of people dining at their favourite café or lavish restaurants to celebrate love, with no expectation of things going awry. But, when things go wrong with machinery and equipment relied on for the smooth running of even the very best places to eat, they can really go wrong.

You could be a restaurant owner busy serving couples out for a candle-lit Valentine’s dinner when suddenly… the passenger lift is not up to date with its statutory inspections and malfunctions with two of your staff inside, leaving you with no one to help take food orders. As the lift is being used by your employees while at work, it falls under the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998(LOLER), and it’s your duty, as the workplace owner, to stay up to date with regularly scheduled inspections.

You could be running your independent café during a busy lunchtime rush on Valentine’s Day when… the café steam boiler behind the bar explodes, propelling the boiler itself into the seating area. As the dedicated site manager, you would be liable for the cost of damage incurred, an unlimited fine from HSE, and could even be subject to any legal proceedings if anyone was injured.

No matter what, Vulcan Inspection Services are here to make sure you and your business are compliant with all the regulations relevant to you and your people are safe.

The Food and Drink Industry

The food and drink sector is the UK’s largest manufacturing sector, forming part of a diverse and complex supply chain. Whether you own a microbrewery or a thriving bakery with increasing orders as Valentine’s Day approaches, you need to comply with the relevant legislation if you own or operate lifting equipment or accessories. Simple.


The Pressure Systems Safety Regulations 2000 (PSSR) is set in place to prevent significant injury from the hazard of stored energy if a pressure system were to fail, by working to prevent a failure from happening in the first place. What’s more, PSSR requires pressure systems to be inspected following a Written Scheme of Examination by a competent and impartial person – and that’s where we come in. We’re both impartial and competent, and we really know our stuff, simple. For more info on our PSSR services, click here.

Taking risks when it comes to the safety of your pressure systems is no joke. When any Pressurised asset malfunctions, you’re not just putting your business and livelihood at risk, but the lives of you and your people. When a pressure boiler explodes, it can send extreme heat, shock waves, and debris flying with enormous force. In fact, if you continue to operate your café steam boiler without the necessary inspection process, you will be in direct contravention of the Pressure System Safety Regulations 2000 (PSSR), which will invalidate any insurance claims made in relation to any incident with the machine.

Just some of the food and drink sector equipment that falls under PSSR include:


  • Boilers and steam heating systems
  • Pressurised process plant and piping
  • Compressed air systems
  • Pressure cookers, autoclaves, and retorts
  • Heat exchangers and refrigeration plant
  • Valves, steam traps and filters
  • Pipework and hoses
  • Pressure gauges and level indicators

What’s more, hot water boilers operating at more than 110°C fall within PSSR, although it is recommended that all hot water boilers be regularly inspected. Refrigeration and air conditioning plants with combined compressor motors exceeding 25kW are also covered by these regulations, but it is important that items below this cut-off are inspected frequently too.

Café boilers, in particular, should be thoroughly maintained by a competent team. Any faults can quickly escalate and cause injury, as with the 2010 Supermarket incident, where a boiler exploded and landed in the café seating area, injuring multiple people. With that, here are some of the most common causes of faults found in café steam boilers:

Unsafe system of work for the operation of the equipment

An unsafe system of work can lead to a whole host of faults and accidents down the line, which is why it’s so important that there’s a Written Scheme of Examination (WSE) in place before the machine is brought into use. This helps to both reduce the risk of faults and, most importantly, makes working with the equipment safer for all involved.

Poor maintenance of equipment

Poor maintenance of a café steam boiler can eventually lead to it failing, which can then seriously injure, and even be fatal, to anyone close by when it does.

All of these issues can be prevented with competent installation and maintenance practices, which is what we’re here for.


LOLER play a vital role in keeping the food and drink sector producing and the people who work within it, safe. They apply to lifting equipment across all industries, covering any work equipment which lifts or lowers a load. This includes attachments used for anchoring, in addition to any chain, rope, sling or component used to attach loads to machinery for lifting or lowering purposes. For more info on what LOLER is and how it applies to you, click here.

In the food and drink manufacturing industry, LOLER plays a huge role in keeping critical machines safe to use, and just some of the equipment used within this sector covered by LOLER includes:

  • Telescopic handler
  • Forklift truck and accessories
  • Pallet truck
  • Passenger and/or goods lift
  • Fore end loader

Almost 10,000 people a year have to visit A&E due to accidents involving lifts and other lifting equipment. Knowing the risks can help reduce them and keep people safe – and that’s what Vulcan Inspection Services are here for.

There’s a variety of things that can go wrong when it comes to lifts, including:

Worn Sheaves

When the sheaves in an elevator shaft wear down, they place extra wear on the ropes, which then leads to more wear on the sheaves. This cycle quickly wears down both completely.

Power Failure

Elevators in commercial settings require a large amount of power from the utility systems, and any updates on the system’s voltage can affect motor operations, potentially damaging the elevator system and leading to faults.


Another issue found in lifts is contamination, which can be caused by things like improper lubrication, worn seals, and the deterioration of elevator parts. When this happens, particles can break off and be released into the oil, causing problems with the functioning of the lift.

When it comes to lifting equipment, we’re proud to say that we really know our stuff.

The Reason We Do What We Do Is to Keep People Safe, Simple

This Valentine’s Day don’t take risks when it comes to safety. The Vulcan Inspection Services are the experts, so you don’t have to be. Our whole mission is to help you, your business, and your workers, stay compliant with all of the regulations that impact you and, above all else, stay safe each and every day. We take your risk seriously, with no compromise.  It works for us and we know it will work for you too.

To learn more about how Vulcan Inspection Services can make sure your equipment is kept safe to use, simply email or call 01789 455 322