The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER) requires users of work equipment to carry out risk assessment and provide work equipment that is suitable for its intended task and can be used without putting persons at risk.
The Regulations cover any machinery, appliance, apparatus, tool or installation for use at work (whether exclusively or not) – effectively it is anything used at work.
The 1998 regulations (updating the original 1992 Regulations) introduce requirements to ensure that, for reasons of health and safety, inspections are carried out:
After installation and before being put into service for the first time; or after assembly at a new site or in a new location to ensure that it has been installed correctly and is safe to operate.
After work equipment has been exposed to any conditions causing deterioration, which is liable to cause a dangerous situation.
At suitable intervals
Each time that exceptional circumstances have occurred that are liable to jeopardise the safety of work equipment. The results of these inspections have to be documented and kept until the third subsequent inspection is recorded.
The regulations make it an offence to allow work equipment to leave an employer’s undertaking, or if obtained from another undertaking, be used, unless it is accompanied by physical evidence that the last inspection has been carried out.
5 Safety Steps
- Locate potential hazards.
- Who could be injured by this and how?
- Should further precautions be put in place?
- Make a record of the risk assessments made.
- Review the assessments and revise them if necessary.