The Provision & Use of Work Equipment Regulations (PUWER) 1998 require employers to protect employees against injuries at work by ensuring that provided work equipment and machinery is:
- Suitable for use in its intended purpose and for the conditions in which it will be used;
- Maintained in a condition that is safe for use and does not put employees’ health and safety at risk; and
- Inspected regularly to ensure that it can be used safely at all times.
In addition, it requires the risks of potential work accidents to be assessed and controlled (or at least minimised) by the provision of:
- Suitable guards, protection and/or warning devices and signs;
- Emergency buttons and/or other system control devices;
- Personal protective equipment;
- Adequate training and instructions on using equipment; and
- Safe working procedures.
Depending on work requirements, risk assessment results and the practicality of specific measures to be taken, some or all of these measures may need to be implemented.
Equipment and use thereof covered by PUWER
Essentially, any equipment used by employees during the course of their work is covered by these regulations. This may, for instance, include equipment such as:
- Power presses;
- Motor vehicles;
- Lifting equipment;
- Dumper trucks;
- Drilling machines; and
- Circular saws.
Equipment uses covered by these regulations in order to prevent accidents in the workplace include starting, operating, stopping, cleaning, maintaining, modifying, repairing, servicing and transporting equipment. More detailed information on PUWER requirements and can be found on the Health & Safety Executive website.
Accidents at work
In spite of these and other relevant health and safety rules and regulations, employees are still at risk of being injured in a work accident. Such accidents may be caused if PUWER and/or other regulations’ requirements are not met, or through human error, equipment failure or a range of other potential factors. In any case, if a worker is injured at work through no fault of their own, they may qualify for work injury compensation.
Accident Advice Helpline
Should you have become the victim of an accident at work, you can confirm your eligibility to claim for industrial injury compensation by calling Accident Advice Helpline on 0800 689 0500 (0333 500 0993 from a mobile) or filling in the 30-second test on our website. All details provided will be treated with strict confidentiality. Claims are handled on a no win no fee* basis by our law firm’s highly experienced lawyers.
Date Published: February 19, 2014
Author: David Brown