It regulates the standards of safety for equipment used in work environments. Its obligations apply to both employers and employees, as well as those who provide equipment for others to use at work. These regulations cover any equipment which is used by an employee at work from lifting equipment, motor vehicles and circular saws to knives, ladders and laptops.
PUWER requires that equipment provided for use at work is: ensure the equipment is constructed or adapted to be suitable for the purpose it is used or provided for, take account of the working conditions and health and safety risks in the workplace when selecting work equipment ensure work equipment is only used for suitable purposes, ensure work equipment is maintained in an efficient state, in efficient working order and in good repair
where a machine has a maintenance log, keep this up to date, where the safety of work equipment depends on the manner of installation, it must be inspected after installation and before being put into use. Where work equipment is exposed to deteriorating conditions liable to result in dangerous situations, it must be inspected to ensure faults are detected in good time so the risk to health and safety is managed. ensure that all people using, supervising or managing the use of work equipment are provided with adequate, clear health and safety information.
This will include, where necessary, written instructions on its use and suitable equipment markings and warnings ensure that all people who use, supervise or manage the use of work equipment have received adequate training, which should include the correct use of the equipment, the risks that may arise from its use and the precautions to take. where the use of work equipment is likely to involve a specific risk to health and safety (eg woodworking machinery), ensure that the use of the equipment is restricted to those people trained and appointed to use it. Take effective measures to prevent access to dangerous parts of machinery. This will normally be by fixed guarding but where routine access is needed, interlocked guards (sometimes with guard locking) may be needed to stop the movement of dangerous parts before a person can reach the danger zone.
Where this is not possible – such as with the blade of a circular saw – it must be protected as far as possible and a safe system of work used. These protective measures should follow the hierarchy laid down in PUWER regulation 11(2) and the PUWER Approved Code of Practice and guidance or, for woodworking machinery, the Safe use of woodworking machinery: Approved Code of Practice and guidance. Take measures to prevent or control the risks to people from parts and substances falling or being ejected from work equipment, or the rupture or disintegration of work equipment, ensure that the risks from very hot or cold temperatures from the work equipment or the material being processed or used are managed to prevent injury. Ensure that work equipment is provided with appropriately identified controls for starting, stopping and controlling it, and that these control systems are safe where appropriate, provide suitable means of isolating work equipment from all power sources (including electric, hydraulic, pneumatic and gravitational energy)ensure work equipment is stabilised by clamping or otherwise to avoid injury.
Take appropriate measures to ensure maintenance operations on work equipment can be carried out safely while the equipment is shut down, without exposing people undertaking maintenance operations to risks to their health and safety. When providing new work equipment for use at work, you must ensure it conforms with the essential requirements of European Community law (for new machinery this means the Machinery Directive).
You must check it: is CE marked comes with a Declaration of Conformity is provided with instructions in English is free from obvious defects – and that it remains so during its working life When providing mobile work equipment, you must ensure that: where employees are carried, the equipment is suitable for that purpose the risks from rolling over are minimised, and any person being carried is protected in the event of fall or rollover. This should include protection against crushing, through the provision of a suitable restraint and a rollover protection system self-propelled equipment can be controlled safely with braking devices, adequate driver vision and, where necessary, lighting measures are taken to prevent any risks from drive shafts that power accessories attached to mobile work equipment, by using adequate guards
The regulations provides an exemption applicable to the armed forces.
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