What is PUWER?
The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER) was brought in to increase health and safety in the work place when handling work equipment or using heavy machinery, such as cherry pickers or circular saws.
Responsibility lies with the employer and the employee to ensure that machinery is operated safely, well maintained, and checked in accordance with the regulations, and that no-one operates the machinery who has not been trained properly. If you don’t own the machinery, the hire company also has a responsibility to make sure that their machinery is well built, suitable for use, and well and consistently maintained before it is hired out.
What is ‘work equipment’?
According to the regulations, work equipment literally means any tools or machinery used for work, which means that not only is any machinery or equipment provided by the employer included, but that even if you bring in a screwdriver from home to do your job, that will also fall under the regulations.
Safety and CE Markings
All equipment must have visible markings and warning signs to indicate any dangers, and electrical equipment and machinery must also carry the CE Marking, declaring it meets the standards of any applicable European legislation on health and safety, and environmental protection.
Maintenance and inspection
All equipment must be regularly maintained, to make sure it is in peak condition for use, in good working order and has not deteriorated in any way.
If a maintenance log is provided, this must be filled in correctly at every inspection and every repair.
Machinery must also be inspected before use if its safe use depends on the way it is installed, and regularly inspected for deterioration if it is used in conditions that may lead to faults or weakening of the equipment.
Dangerous inner workings of machinery must also be protected by safety guards to prevent accidents.
Suitable Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) must be provided and used depending on the machinery.
While your equipment may need to meet PUWER, you will also need to make sure that, where required, your equipment also meets the Electricity at Work regulations, the Personal Protective Equipment regulations, Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations (LOLER), and any other relevant health and safety directives. Call Rapid Platforms on 01279 501501 to find out more.