Plant and Machinery Instruction Manuals

When purchasing or in cases hiring plant and machinery the following information regarding Instruction manuals should be checked before use

Is there an instruction manual?

Is it in English? (Note: The supplier is required to provide it in English, according to The Supply of Machinery (Safety) Regulations 1992 (as amended).

Does the Instruction Manual contain?

  • The name and address of the manufacturer or importer into the EU?
  • Information concerning the exact measures to be taken when in use and if misunderstandings are possible, are they explained well enough for safe use?
  • Maintenance-relevant information (if necessary), e.g. importer’s or service repair center and specific maintenance requirements etc.?
  • Information concerning the workplaces in which the equipment can be used and safety checks that should be carried out?
  • Information concerning noise emissions?
  • Information concerning the vibration/oscillation emissions?
  • Information so that the following can be carried out safely:

– machine operation

– usage

– handling and implementation (information as to the machine weight, as well as the different moving parts in case it has to be transported on a regular basis)

– installation

– assembly and disassembly

– machine preparation

– upkeep and maintenance, as well as the correction of blockages whilst in operation

Is, depending on the type of machine – all the additionally required information available so that the machine can be used properly (e.g. max diameter and weight on the tools to be assembled)?

With multiple machine variants: Is it clearly recognizable which service and safety notes belong to which machine? (Note: It’s best to have a separate instruction manual for each individual machine!)

Is it clearly shown which machines are only allowed to be operated by trained experts or personnel from the manufacturer (e.g. conditional maintenance work)?

Are the safety markings on the machine repeated and explained in the instruction manual?

Are dangers and safety notes clearly summarised in a separate “safety chapter” and then also repeated in the operating summary?

Are illustrations and/or pictograms used to allow for a simpler and quicker understanding?

Is the meaning of the pictogram briefly explained at the beginning of the instruction manual?

Are the accessory parts that are to be used together with the machine clearly listed in the instruction manual?

Are the notes concerning the protective equipment (e.g. vacuum cleaner) and personal protective clothing that have to be used with that machine clearly explained in the instruction manual?

Does the instruction manual contain orientation help (contents and keyword directory, glossary etc.) that allows for a quick find of information that is required?

Is the Instruction Manual written so that it is easy to understand for everyone (no “technical jargon” etc.)?

Is the external design of the instruction manual suited to the given environment (e.g. when working in a dark environment, the writing should be large, stable and perhaps even on washable paper quality, should it come into possible contact with oil or similar products)?