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PUWER– What do I need to know?

PUWER is an acronym that stands for the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998. The regulations require a workplace to actively minimise the risks to people’s health and safety caused by the equipment they use at work. In addition to this, the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 existing to cover lifting machinery.

What does it cover?

PUWER regulations ensure that an item of equipment, including large machinery, used at work should be:

  • Suitable for the intended use.
  • Safe for use and maintained in a safe condition.
  • Inspected regulated to ensure it is correctly installed and does not subsequently deteriorate.
  • Used only by people who have received adequate training, instruction and information.
  • Accompanied by suitable health and safety measures, including protective devices and controls.
  • Used in accordance with specific requirements

What machinery falls under PUWER regulation?

According to the regulation, ‘work equipment, refers to any machinery, appliance, apparatus, tool or installation used at work. This is regardless of whether it is used exclusively at the place of work or not. It also covers equipment that individual employees supply for their own work.

What must I do as an employer?

When you acquire machinery for your workplace, whether new or used, you must ensure it is compliant with the requirements of the European Community law or the Machinery Directive. Your machine must be:

  • CE marked.
  • Accompanied with a Declaration of Conformity.
  • Provided with full instructions in legible English
  • Free from any obvious defects and remains so during its working life

It is also your responsibility to:

Ensure the machine is suitable for purpose Ensure it is maintained efficiently and kept in good condition Ensure all maintenance logs are kept up to date Inspect the machine after installation and prior to it being used Monitor machinery that is exposed to deteriorating conditions and repair all faults promptly Provide full training and information on the use of each Take measures to prevent or control the risk of injury for employees using the machine.

PUWER has been implemented to keep both the employer and the employee safe. The regulation allows you to confidently invest in quality machinery for your business while minimising risk during use.