How does Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations (PUWER) affect me?
If you are an employer, are self-employed or provide equipment for others to use at work then the rules and regulations covered in the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations (PUWER) will relate to you. In this blog we will take a look at PUWER and provide a brief overview of what you need to know about them.
The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1999 refers to the regulation of equipment and machinery that is used in the workplace. The definition of workplace could include factories, warehouses, offshore installations, shops, hospitals, and hotels, etc. Machinery can be dangerous if not properly operated and maintained, so this legislation aims to ensure that equipment used in these types of environments does not harm any persons using it.
PUWER ensures that machinery that is used is suitable for its intended job or purpose and that the environment in which they are used is safe. It ensures that this machinery is regularly maintained and in working order and that inspections are carried out to check its safety by a competent member of staff (every 6-12 months). It also requires that those using machinery are given sufficient training.
PUWER also requires that measures are taken to reduce risks of using machinery. This can be done in a number of different ways, for example:
- Installing guards or gates over dangerous areas or parts, protecting the operator from harm
- Fitting emergency stop buttons within easy reach of the operator in case of an emergency
- Fitting an alarm, using safety markings and warning signs for prevention of accidents
It’s important that any amendments made are practical, for example ensuring that the guard does not obstruct the operators view.
In order to satisfy that you are meeting the PUWER regulations, you should consider implementing a plan for reporting faults with machinery and even a maintenance programme to reduce the risk of machinery becoming dangerous.
For more information on the importance of maintaining Health and Safety protocols in the workplace and how you can minimize risk, please read our helpful guide here.
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