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PUWER 98 Inspection Services

Car Manufacturing Plant

PUWER stands for the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations. These UK regulations require risks to people’s health and safety, from equipment they use at work, to be prevented and controlled.

They require that equipment for use at work be:

  • Suitable for the intended use
  • Safe for use, maintained in a safe condition and, in certain circumstances, inspected to ensure this remains the case
  • Used only by people who have received adequate information, instruction and training
  • Accompanied by suitable safety measures, e.g. protective devices, markings, warnings

PUWER came into force in the UK in 1992, with further changes made to the regulations in 1998.

PUWER in Europe

PUWER are UK national regulations. They are however, based in part on the EU Directive concerning “The Minimum Safety and Health Requirements for the Use of Work Equipment by Workers at Work (89/665/EEC, amended by 95/63/EC). This Directive requires that all equipment provided for use at work within the European Union and European Economic Area be suitable, safe and used only by those qualified to operate it.

Employers responsibilities under PUWER

Under both PUWER and wider European regulations, it is the responsibility of employers to ensure that equipment used at work meets the applicable regulations. Employers should ensure that risks, created by the use of the equipment, are eliminated where possible or controlled by:

  • Taking appropriate 'hardware' measures, e.g. 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 to operators.

Failure to meet the requirements of PUWER can result in the use of equipment being prohibited by local enforcement authorities and, in circumstances where an accident has occurred, prosecution.

Technology International PUWER services

Production Line

Both PUWER and the wider European regulations require that all items of work equipment comply with the requirements of any applicable New Approach Directives. In other words, all work equipment should carry a valid CE Marking, and it is the responsibility of employers to ensure that they do.

Many products sold within the European Union will carry a CE Marking and will automatically meet PUWER or equivalent requirements. Some equipment however, will require further inspection to ensure that it meets the requirements of the relevant European ‘New Approach’ Directives. Examples of equipment that may require additional inspection include:

  • Production Lines – Lines installed by or on behalf of an employer, even if the component machines that make up a line carry individual CE marks, will require additional checks to ensure that the overall system meets the applicable Directives.
  • Second Hand or Used Equipment – Second hand or used equipment is excluded from the scope of the New Approach Directives and cannot therefore carry a CE Marking to indicate that it is safe. Under PUWER employers should however, ensure that any used equipment acquired is safe to operate, and the most effective way of doing so is to have it inspected against the requirements of the applicable European Directives by a competent person.

Technology International conducts equipment inspections on behalf of companies across Europe to ensure that the equipment and systems their employees use meet the necessary requirements of both PUWER or its European equivalents and the applicable European "New Approach" Directives.

These inspections are not intended to certify equipment or systems to the applicable European Directives and are offered separately to our European Compliance Services. They are specifically designed to ensure that employers meet their obligations under PUWER or other national regulations derived from EU Directive 89/665/EEC.

Our team of highly qualified engineers conducts inspection and testing on-site; and will advise on any changes that may be necessary to meet the required safety standards. Full written reports outlining the inspection finding and test results are also provided and can form part of any safety inspection records maintained by employers.

In addition to initial inspection and testing Technology International can also undertake periodic inspections, as required by PUWER, to ensure that systems or equipment remains safe to operate. The frequency and scope of such inspections can be tailored to the specific requirements of an employer.