Protecting employees in the workplace based on the equipment in use.

As an employer, ensure that only adequately trained staff use equipment – and that said equipment is well maintained.

Defining Work Equipment

Work equipment generally refers to any piece of machinery, tool or item used within the working environment – hammers, knives, drills, photocopiers, ladders and much more.

Regardless of whether the equipment is supplied by the employer or employee, if it’s used by the employee, it’s covered by PUWER.

All work equipment is covered by the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 and this piece of legislation requires employers to undertake specific actions. These regulations also apply to organisations that permit employees to use their own tools and work equipment for tasks on their behalf. Therefore it will be important to ensure all equipment is suitably checked.

Upkeep of Work Equipment

Work equipment can be a considerable expense to any business, and it’s important to ensure that it is in good working order at all times.

Work equipment down time will result in additional business costs – repair expenditure, additional wages and replacement machinery hire can all have an impact on project profitability. Therefore it is vital that suitable maintenance is undertaken on all items of equipment regardless of the nature of the apparatus.

All manufacturers must ensure the machines that they make and supply are safe for use and should be fitted with the appropriate safety devices. The manufacturer should have also compiled a suitable and sufficient risk assessment whilst constructing the apparatus and designed out any hazards at the manufacturing stage. Unfortunately this is not always possible so the manufacturers must highlight any inherent hazards by displaying suitable warning signs on the equipment as well as supplying the requisite information within the instruction manual.

All new machinery and equipment should display a suitable CE marking on the unit to show that it complies with all relevant supply laws. Unfortunately the CE marking does not necessarily mean that the machine/equipment is safe and it will be down to the user to ensure that it is not dangerous prior to it being used for the first time.

How Can Citation Help?

Unfortunately, not all equipment that is used within the business has clearly defined service schedules; this is where Citation comes in. Citation’s Health and Safety Consultants will advise you about time scales that are required for maintaining your equipment as well as completing all necessary risk assessments.

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