11 Oct, 2023

Keeping up to date with complicated workplace equipment regulations can be a challenge, but it is important to ensure that your employees can operate equipment safely and legally.

The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER) covers an extensive range of workplace equipment that any business or organisation should maintain for safe use.

PUWER inspection services are a reliable and convenient way for companies to check that their workplace equipment adheres to these crucial regulations.

Find out more below.

What is a Work Equipment (PUWER) Inspection?

Typically, PUWER requires that any equipment provided for use in the workplace is regularly inspected to ensure that it is:

  • Maintained for safe use
  • In a safe condition
  • And is suitable for the intended use

Regular checks for each piece of equipment and machinery may require different intervals of time depending on the type of conditions the equipment is exposed to.

Inspections of high-risk workplace equipment must be thorough (involving a complete function check and testing) and performed by a suitable professional, such as ISI.

Lower-risk and simple workplace equipment may be assessed by in-house competent staff provided they have received the necessary training.

Additionally, PUWER requires that suitable safety measures, such as protective devices, markings, and warnings, must be visibly in place.

Does My Work Equipment Need Inspecting?

Under PUWER requirements, work equipment generally includes any equipment which is used by an employee, which may include but is not limited to:

  • Photocopiers
  • Lifting equipment (including lifts)
  • Motor vehicles
  • Dumper trucks
  • Ladders
  • Dock leveller systems
  • Drilling machines
  • Power presses
  • Circular saws
  • Vertical doors

Thorough inspections are usually undertaken after installation and before first-time use, when harsh conditions may have damaged the equipment, and in exceptional circumstances such as after repair or modification. A competent operator should pre-use check equipment before each use.

Some employees might bring their own equipment to work or when travelling for work. Personal equipment used in this way is covered by PUWER and should be inspected to ensure it meets the requirements for workplace safety.

What is the Purpose of A PUWER Inspection?

Identify Safety Hazards

PUWER inspections help you and your employees identify the potential risks of using equipment in the workplace. This might include recognising an insufficient amount of PPE, discovering exposed and dangerous electrical wiring, finding that the integrity of construction equipment has been compromised, and more.

Identifying safety hazards before using equipment helps prevent unsafe use. It also allows you and your workers to take precautions for other equipment. This helps avoid the same problems and ensures safety for as long as possible.

Mitigate Risks for Employees

The most important need for PUWER inspections is to ensure the safety of employees in the workplace. Undertaking regular high-risk and lower-risk inspections of your workplace equipment means that the possibility of harm to your employees is significantly reduced.

If all health and safety regulations are routinely observed, your employees should be confident in the safe use of the equipment supplied to them at work.

Comply With Legal Requirements

Even though PUWER is an Approved Code of Practice and Guidance (ACOP) and is considered guidance and not law, following it is usually sufficient to keep you compliant with the legal requirements for workplace health and safety.

Completing thorough checks with PUWER inspection services like ISI means that, as the employer, you can be confident that your company is lawfully complying with the Health and Safety at Work Act regarding equipment and machinery.

Enhance Equipment Efficiency

Regular PUWER inspections mean that your company’s equipment will stay safe to use. They also enable your equipment to perform efficiently and for longer.

Any potential faults or damage to equipment will be identified before they do significant harm to it, increasing the lifespan of your equipment and machinery.

Additionally, lesser-risk and smaller routine pre-use checks will encourage your employees to implement better general cleaning and maintenance habits, ensuring that each use of the equipment is at its highest efficiency.

Demonstrate Health & Safety Due Diligence

Working with regularly PUWER-inspected equipment and machinery keeps your company lawfully compliant with the Health and Safety at Work Act. It also means that your employees, and members of the public that your employees might be working around, are kept safe.

Even if you are covered by the law for any accidents, avoiding them completely is the priority. PUWER inspections mean that you can continually take every possible measure to reduce the risk of harm to the operators and to others.

Work Equipment PUWER Inspections by ISI

Industrial Safety Inspections (ISI) provides quality engineering inspections and testing services across the UK.

Our friendly, highly qualified engineers will assess and inspect your workplace equipment, helping you ensure that your business is consistently adhering to HSE regulations and performing safe operations.

At ISI, we pride ourselves on the quality of our PUWER inspections. For a no-obligation quote, please contact our team.