Health & Safety, An Introduction to


Work Equipment & Machinery

Do you know how to select and use your work equipment?

Work equipment covers an enormous range spanning process machinery, machine tools, office machines, lifting equipment, hand tools, ladders and pressure washers. Important points include: selecting the right equipment for the job, making sure equipment is safe to use and keeping it safe through regular maintenance, inspection and, if appropriate, thorough examination, training employees to use equipment safely and following manufacturers’ or suppliers’ instructions. Accidents involving work equipment happen all the time – many serious, some fatal.

Does this concern me?

Do you use ladders or other equipment for working at heights? For example, it may often be safer to use an access tower or mobile elevating work platform than a ladder.

Do you have machinery of any kind? You need to guard the parts that could cause injury; have the right controls, especially for starting and stopping; clean, or clear blockages in a safe way; and carry out preventive checks, maintenance and inspection.

Are hand tools used in your workplace, e.g. screwdrivers, knives, hand saws, meat cleavers, hammers?

Do you have lifting equipment such as pulley blocks, cranes, and lift trucks? Most lifting equipment will require regular thorough examination by a competent person.

What law applies?

Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998

Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998

Supply of Machinery (Safety) Regulations 1992, as amended 1994

How and where you can get more help

InfoLine (08701 545500) can help identify publications relevant to you.

‘Simple guide to the Provision and Use of Work Equiment Regulations’ INDG291 FREE (available in packs of 15 ISBN 0 7176 2429 3 £5.00)

‘Safe use of work equipment. Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998′ L22 ISBN 0 7176 1626 6 £8.00

‘Simple guide to the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998′ INDG290 FREE (available in packs of 15 ISBN 0 7176 2430 7 £5.00)

‘Buying new machinery : A short guide to the law and some information on what to do for anyone buying new machinery for use at work’ INDG271 FREE (available in packs of 15 ISBN 0 7176 1559 6 £5.00)

‘Using work equipment safely’ INDG229 (rev1) FREE (available in packs of 10 ISBN 0 7176 2389 0 £5.00)

You can order any of these titles through HSE Books.

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