PUWER Compliance:
Ensuring Safe Work Equipment in the Workplace

The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations, also known as PUWER, are a set of regulations used in the United Kingdom to make sure work equipment is being used safely. They’re designed to protect the health and safety of employees, as well as anyone who make be affected by using work equipment, including customers.

PUWER applies to a wide range of equipment, including anything from machinery and tools to vehicles, appliances, and systems used in the workplace.

These regulations place duties on employers, employees, and self-employed people who work with or around such equipment to take the necessary precautions to keep themselves, and their team, safe.

We’ve listed some of our Frequently Asked Questions and Answers, which you can find below.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

A. PUWER applies to all work equipment used by employees at work. This includes equipment that is owned by the employer, hired from a third party, or brought in by a contractor.

The requirements of PUWER are:

  • Work equipment must be suitable for the intended use
  • Work equipment must be safe to use
  • Work equipment must be maintained in a safe condition
  • Work equipment must be inspected to ensure it is safe to use
  • Employees must be trained in the safe use of work equipment
  • Work equipment must be accompanied by suitable health and safety measures, such as protective devices and controls

We can help you to comply with PUWER, by:

  • • Carrying out a risk assessment to identify any hazards associated with the use of work equipment
  • Selecting work equipment that is suitable for the intended use and that meets the relevant safety standards
  • Providing employees with adequate information, instruction, and training on the safe use of work equipment
  • Maintaining work equipment in a safe condition and carrying out regular inspections
  • Providing suitable health and safety measures, such as protective devices and controls

Compliance with PUWER is a legal requirement in the UK.

If you’re found to not be complying with PUWER regulations, and associated health and safety legislation, including LOLER, you may face heavy penalties, including fines, criminal charges, and even imprisonment.

PUWER regulations are enforced by HSE inspectors, who have the authority to examine and investigate all relevant equipment and records in your workplace during an investigation. If necessary, HSE inspectors can halt operations to take measurements, samples or photographs. They may also dismantle, remove and take possession of any articles or substances.

They may question employers and employees and issue enforcement and/or prohibition notices and can also legally stop work from continuing to initiate prosecution proceedings.

Put simply, the BES Group will help you to avoid uncapped fines and criminal charges with our expert inspection services. To find out more, fill in our short enquiry form.

PUWER includes several key provisions to ensure the safe use of work equipment in the workplace. Here are the primary provisions of PUWER:

  1. Risk Assessment: PUWER requires employers to conduct a comprehensive risk assessment of work equipment to identify potential hazards and assess the level of risk associated with their use. This assessment helps determine appropriate control measures to mitigate risks.
  2. Safe Equipment Selection and Design: Employers must ensure that work equipment is suitable for its intended use, taking into account factors such as the nature of the work, foreseeable hazards, and the capabilities of the users. Equipment should be properly designed, constructed, and maintained to minimize risks.
  3. Maintenance, Inspection, and Repair: PUWER mandates that work equipment is maintained in a safe working condition. Regular inspections, maintenance procedures, and repair processes should be implemented to ensure equipment remains safe for use. Employers must keep records of maintenance and inspections.
  4. Employee Training and Competence: Employers are responsible for providing adequate training and instruction to employees who use or operate work equipment. Training should cover safe working practices, equipment operation, emergency procedures, and any specific risks associated with the equipment.
  5. Information, Instruction, and Supervision: Employers must provide employees with clear information and instructions regarding the safe use of work equipment. This includes any specific operating procedures, safety precautions, and potential risks. Adequate supervision should also be in place to ensure compliance with safety requirements.
  6. Emergency Procedures and Safety Measures: PUWER requires employers to establish and communicate emergency procedures, such as evacuation plans, equipment shutdown protocols, and first aid arrangements. Employers should also provide appropriate safety measures, such as guards, protective devices, and personal protective equipment (PPE).
  7. Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH): When work equipment involves the use of hazardous substances, employers must comply with the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations (COSHH). This includes conducting risk assessments, implementing control measures, and providing suitable PPE and training.
  8. Specific Requirements for Mobile Work Equipment, Lifting Equipment, and Power Presses: PUWER includes additional provisions specific to certain types of work equipment, such as mobile work equipment (e.g., forklift trucks), lifting equipment (e.g., cranes, hoists), and power presses. These requirements outline specific safety measures and inspections for these types of equipment.

It’s important for employers and employees to familiarise themselves with the detailed provisions of PUWER that are applicable to their specific workplace and equipment to ensure compliance with the regulations and promote a safe working environment. To speak to one of our experts about your requirements, fill in our short enquiry form.

The primary objectives of PUWER are to:

  1. Ensure the equipment provided is suitable and safe for its intended use.
  2. Minimize risks associated with the use of work equipment.
  3. Provide clear guidelines for the safe operation, maintenance, and inspection of work equipment.
  4. Promote the training and competence of employees who use or manage work equipment.
  5. Establish procedures for identifying and controlling hazards associated with work equipment.

The duties placed on employers by PUWER includes:

  • Conducting risk assessments to identify potential hazards
  • Making sure equipment is properly maintained and inspected
  • Providing adequate training and information to employees
  • And implementing measures to control risks

As part of this, employees are expected to cooperate with their employers, follow safe work practices, and report any equipment defects or hazards that they may find while working.

It is important for employers and employees to familiarise themselves with the specific requirements of PUWER that are relevant to their workplace and equipment, to make sure their workplace is safe and free from accidents or injuries.

To find out how we can support keep your premises legally compliant, please fill in our short form and we will get back to you.

It is important to note that PUWER is a complex set of regulations and that there are a number of factors to consider when ensuring compliance. If you are unsure about how to comply with PUWER, get in touch with a member of our team by filling out the form below to discuss your requirements.

 

The BES Group Solution

Understanding and complying with PUWER is crucial for maintaining a safe and healthy working environment. By following the regulations and implementing best practices, employers can ensure the safety of their employees, reduce the risk of accidents, and avoid legal penalties.

DON’T LEAVE THINGS TO CHANCE. FILL IN OUR SHORT FORM TO SPEAK TO ONE OF OUR EXPERTS TODAY

The BES Group are the specialists when it comes to keeping you, your team, and your premises legally compliant, operational, and, most importantly, safe.

Our team of in-house professionals and specialist engineer surveyors are on hand to respond to any issues as and when they arise. Added to this, our customers can sleep easy at night, safe in the knowledge that our transparent online reporting system can provide them with an overview of their engineering compliance 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

We’ll work with you to create a comprehensive schedule of inspections, with minimal disruption to your business operations. Put simply, our customers come first, each and every time.