PUWER- Provision and Use of Work Equipment

All tools and equipment that are provided to workers is subject to regulations, In the UK this falls under PUWER- Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998

This is modelled in many countries and should be adhered to.

In general terms, the Regulations require that equipment provided for use at work is the following:

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

Equipment covered by the regulations:-

Any equipment which is used by an employee at work is covered, for example hammers, knives, ladders, drills, circular saws, lifting equipment, dumper trucks and vehicles.

If employees provide their own equipment, it, too, will be covered by PUWER and they are to make sure it complies and is in safe working condition.

Employees must report any tools/equipment defects immediately, any tool or piece of equipment deemed unsafe is to be removed from the workplace.

All equipment that is hired must conform to the policy and regulations, competent persons are to inspect all hired equipment before use.

No plant or equipment shall be operated without the relevant licence from the appropriate statutory authority, unless under the supervision of a competent authorised person using a current log book, or unless an appropriate internal assessment has been made and documented where no statutory licensing is required.


Sample plant safety checklist
Action taken Yes No
A plant policy is in place.
Management is committed to the objectives of the policy.
Sufficient resources have been provided to ensure that the objectives of the policy are met.
Staff at all levels are aware of, and understand, the policy.
A purchasing specification is in place which requires designers and manufacturers to:- undertake risk management for plant which they design/manufacture- provide relevant information on health and safety related to the plant which they design/manufacture
The purchasing specification also requires suppliers to forward a copy of the designer’s/manufacturer’s risk management/health and safety information for the plant which they supply.
A register of all plant used in the workplace has been compiled and is kept available for inspection by employees and their representatives.
Procedures are in place to ensure the competence and, where appropriate, the qualification of people (including contractors) who undertake installation, modification and repairs to any plant related to workplace operations.
A system for maintaining records for plant has been set up which includes information about registered designs and contains all information required to be kept in relation to registered plant.


The protocols for testing and maintaining plant have been agreed and incorporated into written procedures

  • Relevant employees and their supervisors are regularly consulted on health and safety issues related to plant safety
  • Adequate protective equipment to safely undertake work on, or with, plant is provided, with written protocols for its inspection, maintenance and use
  • All relevant employees and their supervisors receive appropriate information, training and supervision to ensure the safety of personnel working with or near plant hazards
  • A system is in place to ensure that all accidents, incidents and near misses involving plant are reported, investigated and recorded, and that appropriate corrective measures are implemented.

Power Tools