PUWER’98 has now been in force since December 5th 1998 and still over one third of small businesses have not heard of the legislation.  Here we’ll attempt to simplify the regulations and following actions that must be taken to comply.

We have also introduced a web forum where our experts can answer any questions you may have in any aspect of machinery safety.

Author: Mark Smailes MIOSH

Mark spent 11 years in the steel fabrication industry, including 3 years as a quality manager, 2 years as a works manager and 2 years as a health and safety engineer.  He has been appointed by the European Chamber of Commerce to provide training on CE Marking Directives.

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; and

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 offense 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

  1. Locate potential hazards.
  2. Who could be injured by this and how?
  3. Should further precautions be put in place?
  4. Make a record of the risk assessments made.
  5. Review the assessments and revise them if necessary.

We plan to expand this web site over time. Please E-mail us or place a message on the forum with any suggestions or topics you’d like to see here.