PUWER: Work Equipment Safety
The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER) are the minimum legal requirements to show you have protected your employees in the workplace. Generally, any equipment which is used by an employee at work is covered, for example drilling machines, power presses, circular saws, lifting equipment (including lifts) and motor vehicles. Examples of uses of equipment which are covered by the Regulations include starting or stopping the equipment, repairing, modifying, maintaining, servicing, cleaning and transporting. If you are an employer or self-employed person and you provide equipment for use at work, or if you have control of the use of equipment, then the Regulations will apply to you.
You must ensure that the work equipment you provide meets the requirements of PUWER. You should ensure that it is:
■ suitable for use, and for the purpose and conditions in which it is to be used;
■ maintained in a safe condition for use so that people’s health and safety is not at risk; and
■ inspected, in certain circumstances, to ensure that it is and continues to be safe for use. Any inspection should be carried out by a competent person
You should also ensure that risks created by using the equipment are eliminated where possible or controlled ‘as far as reasonably practicable’ by:
■ taking appropriate ‘hardware’ measures, eg providing suitable guards, protection devices, markings and warning devices, system control devices (such as emergency stop buttons) and personal protective equipment; and
■ taking appropriate ‘software’ measures such as following safe systems of work (e.g. ensuring maintenance is only performed when equipment is shut down etc), and providing adequate information, instruction and training
A combination of these measures may be necessary depending on the requirements of the work, your assessment of the risks involved, and the practicability of such measures.
How can ExVeritas Help?
ExVeritas are a specialist safety company who are UKAS accredited as a test and certification body. Our competence is in risk assessment and risk mitigation, we have a practical and pragmatic approach backed by over 250 years of collective knowledge in this field. Many companies offer ‘PUWER Assessments’, but we are only of the only companies who can offer in depth assessment where needed.
As we can see the ‘big picture’ and hone in on the detail when it counts (without having to bring in other subcontractors) we can offer turnkey compliance, fully documented and at the lowest cost to our clients. In addition, we have the knowledge and practical skills to ‘fix’ problems. not just highlight them for you to resolve. We have electricians, electronics engineers, mechanical engineers and safety systems designers on staff who can help resolve any issues we find.
Knowledge of Global Markets
As ExVeritas works globally and issues certification for many schemes (NEC, INMETRO, IECEx etc) we can often help to ‘convert’ equipment that has been imported from other countries that was not CE Marked as we understand how the local testing (for example, UL Listing in North America) correlate with CE testing requirements. This transference can save a great deal of time and cost when applied correctly.
PUWER Gap Analysis
Normally with just one day on site our experts can provide any significant issues and generate a firm cost and project plan for PUWER Compliance. The plan will identify milestones and a critical path to get the equipment compliant and fully documented/inspected in the most efficient way.
It can be the case that equipment has been put in use safely, but over time modification or equipment degradation may have generated safety issues. PUWER requires that safety devices (for example interlocks, guards etc) are inspected by competent person, ExVeritas can take on the inspections and label the equipment as inspected (with a date for next inspection managed on our cloud based inspection system)