The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1999 (PUWER) place a duty on employers to protect employees safety through the proper selection and use of work equipment.
Work equipment can range from anything from a hammer, right up to a telehandler. Regardless of what it is, it’s extremely important for employers to ensure their employees know how to use it safely.
- Suitable for intended use – It’s important that we consider the working conditions, and potential risks to health and safety before we use any piece of equipment.
- Safe for use, in a safe condition, and maintained and inspected to ensure this is the case – Equipment must be kept in an efficient state, and in good working order, helped by filling out a maintenance log if there is one available. Not only this, but the equipment must be inspected regularly, particularly if it is being used for the first time, if it is being used at a new location, when being used under circumstances likely to cause deterioration.
- Used only by people who have received adequate instruction & training – Before using any work equipment, it’s important employees have been trained in it’s use, as well as the risks and precautions associated. This also applies to those responsible for managing or supervising the use of equipment.
- Accompanied by relevant safety measures – protective devices, markings and warnings – All equipment must be appropriately and visibly marked where relevant, for purposes of health and safety. As well as this, they must have relevant warning labels which are unambiguous and easy to understand.