The Provision & Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998
Work equipment must be constructed in such a way that it is suitable for the purpose for which it is to be used.
Once again, the employer is responsible for these arrangements. It is the duty of every employer to: 'ensure that work equipment is so constructed or adapted as to be suitable for the purpose for which it is used or provided.
The Regulations also cover the duty of employers to carry out risk assessments with regards to 'the health and safety of persons which exist in the premises'. Clearly, employers have a duty, not only to employees, but also to any visitors to their premises. Covers maintenance under S.5.(1) 'Every employer shall ensure that work equipment is maintained in an efficient state, in efficient working order and in good repair'. S.5(2) provides that maintenance logs be kept up to date. Covers inspection under S.6(1) Every employer shall ensure that work equipment is inspected: (a) 'after installation and before being put into service' (b) 'after assembly at a new site or location'. It can be seen that even new equipment should be inspected before use. Equipment moved to a new location should be inspected to ensure that it has been properly assembled and has not been damaged during transit. S.6(2) places a duty on every employer to ensure that work equipment subject to deterioration is inspected at: S.6(2)(a) 'suitable intervals' S.6(2)(b) 'each time that exceptional circumstances which are liable to jeopardise the safety of work equipment have occurred'. They also provide that electrical systems and equipment be regularly inspected and tested to ensure that they are safe for use and that additional inspection and testing is necessary after possible damage due to fire, flood etc. The inspection and testing should be carried out by a 'competent person', this being a person with the necessary skills, experience and qualifications.
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