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Work Equipment

Work equipment is any machinery, appliance, apparatus or tool or installation for use at work including ladders, hand tools etc. Machinery is a piece of equipment which has moving parts and, usually, some kind of drive unit e.g. mowing machines, circular saws, fork lift trucks, tractors.

All items of machinery and work equipment within the University must be suitable by design, construction or adaptation for the work they are provided to do and should be used for their intended function and be adequately maintained.

The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations (PUWER) apply to all sectors, including the HE sector. Regulation 4 requires all work equipment to be risk assessed before it is put to use, and Regulation 10, Conformity with Community Requirements, requires an employer to ensure that if any European Standards or Directives relating to an item of work equipment exists that such equipment is CE marked and is accompanied by the relevant certificates or declarations (ask for a copy of the EU Declaration of Conformity). This is especially important if it is being purchased from a non-EU supplier. CE marking is applicable to a wide range of work equipment from electrical equipment to toys, from civil explosives to medical devices. Use the link to see which sorts of equipment require CE marking.

Those who have authority to purchase or otherwise acquire machinery, work equipment, laboratory and research equipment and facilities, components for machinery or equipment, substances, or services must check that the purchases that they authorise meet health, safety and environmental requirements relating to supply and use and, where appropriate, sale or disposal, noting that there are also relevant Financial Procedures relating to the disposal of assets (Financial Procedure) that will need also be adhered to.

As part of the procurement process of Research Equipment (Financial Procedure 15.12) the originating department or principal investigator (liaising with the Purchasing Office, Health and Safety Department, local Facility Manager and Estates Department as necessary) must consider and address any health, safety and environmental and building services issues.

Departments are responsible for defining their management arrangements for machinery and work equipment within their remit and for ensuring that University requirements are achieved. These arrangements must address the designated authority and responsibility for specific facilities, machinery or equipment, and:

Persons with designated authority for machinery or equipment must ensure that the machinery or equipment is used and maintained in line with University requirements.

There are additional statutory requirements for lifting equipment and equipment for working at height with further links to the statutory framework for work equipment provided.