Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations

When it comes to legislation, the main set to be aware of is the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998, also known as PUWER.

These regulations place responsibility on those at all levels of companies when it comes to the use of work-based equipment, whether it has been acquired via tool hire or purchase.

Specifically, this means ensuring the equipment is:

  • suitable for use
  • safe for use
  • only used for its specific requirements
  • maintained in a safe condition
  • inspected regularly
  • only used by those who have been trained in its use
  • accompanied by the required safety information

Work based equipment is anything which is required to carry out tasks sufficiently at work. So, it can include machinery, apparatus, tools or installation equipment. It can also include any lifting equipment which is used to carry either persons or items.

It may also include the items which are used to operate the above, such as power generators, servicing equipment or health and safety equipment.

What You Need to Do

The risks of all equipment must be managed. You must also keep records of what has been checked, when and what was done. Ensure:

  • equipment is good for specific use or has been adapted
  • you look at the risks involved in the job and on the site when deciding what equipment is needed
  • products are used correctly only by those trained for use
  • that where equipment isn't safe to use, it must be replaced
  • you maintain a maintenance log
  • where equipment may pose specific risks (such as excess dust), ensure those risks are minimised and managed
  • equipment conforms to European or British regulations

Mobile Work Equipment

Mobile work equipment is anything which isn't on site permanently. Therefore, it may need to be checked after everything else has been, or checked for specific risks (such as risk to contractors or members of the public).

This can involve specialised equipment, such as fork lift trucks and analysing equipment. 

More Specific Legislation

It is really important to be aware of all of the legislation which covers your workplace and workplace type. This is because some equipment may be covered by more specific legislation.

There are Personal Protective Equipment legislations and Electricity at Work legislations in place which may take precedent or have to work alongside PUWER legislation.

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