PUWER FAQ


What is PUWER 98 regulations & What does PUWER stand for? 

Some FAQ about PUWER.

What does PUWER 1998 stand for? What does PUWER mean?

Sometimes this question is asked another way. 'What is the provision and use of work equipment regulation?' or 'Which regulation covers equipment used in the workplace?'.

Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER), places duties on businesses and employees who own, operate or have control over work equipment. These regulations do not apply to public use of machinery (e.g. tyre inflation machine on a garage forecourt). 

What is PUWER 98 regulations? What is PUWER legislation?

When was PUWER introduced? In 1998 the PUWER regulations were brought in. The legislation and guidance places responsibilities on suppliers and users to ensure work machinery is provided and used safely.

Suppliers

Anyone supplying work equipment must ensure that the equipment provided meets the requirements of PUWER i.e. it must be:

  • 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 (this could be an employee if they have the necessary skills, knowledge and experience to perform the task) and a record kept until the next inspection.

Users

The responsibilities for users of work equipment are covered by the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 (HSW) and the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 (MHSW) which requires employees to:

  • Take reasonable care for themselves and others who may be affected;

  • Co-operate with the employer;

  • Not to misuse or interfere with safety provisions;

  • Use equipment properly in accordance with instructions and training;

  • Inform employers of dangerous situations and shortcomings in protection arrangements.

Where employees provide their own tools the employer still has a responsibility to ensure that work equipment is suitable.

A more detailed description of employer and employee responsibilities under PUWER regs.

Why is PUWER important in the work place?

To answer this question we could ask 'what do the PUWER regulations cover?' and 'what are the main requirements of PUWER?'.

The PUWER regulations apply to almost any equipment used by an employee at work. The scope is extremely wide and includes hand tools, power tools, ladders, photocopiers, laboratory apparatus, lifting equipment, fork-lift trucks, and motor vehicles (which are not privately owned). 

Virtually anything used to do a job of work, including employees' own equipment, is covered. The uses covered include starting or stopping the equipment, repairing, modifying, maintaining, servicing, cleaning and transporting.

The aim of the PUWER regulations is to reduce the risk to peoples health and safety from the use of equipment and machinery. PUWER is important in the work place as it ensures that machinery and equipment hazards are minimised or eliminated and that suppliers have a legal duty to;

  • Supply equipment fit for purpose.

  • Maintained in a safe condition.

  • Inspected to ensure that it is and continues to be safe for use.

What equipment is covered by PUWER?

The answer to this question will also cover some other FAQ.

  • Are ladders covered by PUWER? Yes.

  • Are abrasive wheels covered by PUWER? Yes but they also have their own guidelines.

  • Does PUWER cover hand tools? Yes.

  • Do excavators require a PUWER certificate? Yes, but like fork lift trucks they have specific guidelines. If the only job they do is conventional ‘earth moving’ then the requirements of the Provision of Work Equipment Regulations (PUWER) apply. Under PUWER there must be an appropriate maintenance regime and an inspection of the machine at intervals specified by a competent person. However if the machine is used for lifting then it must be thoroughly examined and additional safety devices must be fitted, including a boom lowering device (usually check valves) and an acoustic warning device.

  • How does PUWER apply in agriculture? PUWER applies to agriculture the same as any other industry. See below for equipment covered under the PUWER regs.

  • Are PAT tests a legal requirement under PUWER? No. PAT tests are useful to show that portable appliances are electrically safe but they are not a legal requirement under PUWER.

  • Do Doors come under PUWER? No. Doors are not classed as work equipment, but they will be covered under fire safety and emergency planning.

  • What equipment comes under the work equipment regulations? See below.

  • What is covered by PUWER? See below.

The PUWER regulations apply to almost any equipment used by an employee at work. The scope is extremely wide and includes hand tools, power tools, ladders, photocopiers, laboratory apparatus, lifting equipment, fork-lift trucks, and motor vehicles (which are not privately owned). 

Virtually anything used to do a job of work, including employees' own equipment, is covered. The uses covered include starting or stopping the equipment, repairing, modifying, maintaining, servicing, cleaning and transporting.

Sometimes other more specific legislation may also apply. Generally, if you are meeting the requirements of more specific legislation, such as those outlined below, it should normally be sufficient to meet the more general requirements of PUWER.

Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992, which cover, for example, workplace risks to pedestrians from vehicles;

Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 which contain, for example, specific requirements relating to certain types of work equipment such as scaffolding;

Supply of Machinery (Safety) Regulations 2008, as amended, which require that machinery is:

  • Safe, that means provided complete with all necessary guards and protective devices;

  • CE marked

  • Provided with an EC Declaration of Conformity;

  • Provided with instructions in English.

What is PUWER training?

PUWER training will outline the requirements of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER). Describe what is needed to protect users of work equipment. Detail simple precautions to be taken with work equipment that significantly reduce the risk of injury or illness to the user or others. Consider the risks associated with using work equipment (risk assessment) and what precautions need to be taken to minimise the risks. 

Online training is the most cost effective way to deliver this training.