First introduced in 1992, Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations (PUWER) place extensive responsibilities for health and safety in the workplace on employers and employees alike.
PUWER is primarily aimed at the equipment used at work, but employers also have a duty to consider the conditions in which they are used.
The scope of PUWER is wide and the variety of equipment it covers is extensive. To reinforce this notion, it is stated that PUWER covers "anything from a tool to a car assembly plant”.
In general terms, PUWER requires that equipment provided for use at work is:
- Suitable for the intended use;
- Safe for use, maintained in a safe condition and, in certain circumstances, inspected to ensure this remains the case;
- Used only by people who have received adequate information, instruction and training;
- Accompanied by suitable safety measures, eg protective devices, markings, warnings. (Source: HSE guide to PUWER 1998)
The application of PUWER can be complex and must be addressed with different skills for different regulations. The list below illustrates a breakdown of PUWER regulations, assigned in accordance to skills of the workforce:
- Health and Safety at Work Regulations (MHSWR)
- PUWER (reg: 1-38)
- Equipment (reg: 6,11-21, 25-34)
- Maintenance (reg: 5, 6, 22-24)
- Human Resources (reg: 8-10, 23, 24)
- Workplace (reg: 4, 6-8, 23, 24)
The regulations put the onus on the employer to provide safe work equipment to enable their employees to execute their duties safely. Health and Safety inspectors enforce the regulations and will check for areas of serious risk.
How do I comply with PUWER regulations?
A good place to begin discovering the legal requirements that PUWER imposes on you any your company is the 'Simple Guide to the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998' available from the HSE by clicking here coupled with the Approved Code of Practice. To aid you with compliance, Pilz offer comprehensive training courses to develop your own understanding of PUWER. Pilz engineers can also carry out assessment and evaluation of working practices in partnership with your company to ensure compliance with PUWER.
If you would like any further information about PUWER or the services offered by Pilz you can use the contact details below:
Telephone: 01536 460766
Fax: 01536 460866