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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 (including the University) to ensure that if any UK/European Standards or Directives relating to an item of work equipment exists that such equipment is UKCA marked (which replaced CE marking following Brexit) or CE marked (valid for new equipment supplied only up until 31st December 2021) and is accompanied by the relevant certificates or declarations (you may need to ask for a copy of the EU Declaration of Conformity or the UKCA Declaration of Conformity and/or Performance).

If purchasing work equipment from a non-EU/non UK supplier, it would be worth seeking an importer that will provide the conformance requirements for you, which will include the UKCA marking and Declarations of Conformity. If you do not do this, the legal requirements to ensure that the product (in this case, work equipment), meets the performance parameters required, fall to you as the purchaser, UKCA (and CE marking) is applicable to a wide range of work equipment from electrical equipment to toys, from civil explosives to medical devices. Refer to the links in the right hand column for more information, or ask for advice from Health and Safety Services.

Essentially, if you buy equipment from outside the UK, and there are testing parameters applicable, then it cannot be used unless it has the UKCA marking, relevant Declarations of Conformity or Incorporation and instructions in English.

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 the health, safety and environmental requirements relating to supply and use and, where appropriate, sale or disposal, noting that there are also relevant University Financial Procedures relating to the disposal of assets that will also need to be adhered to.

As part of the procurement process of Research Equipment the originating department or principal investigator (liaising with the Purchasing Office, Health and Safety Services, local Facility Manager and Estates Department as necessary) must consider and address any health, safety and environmental and building services issues as well as the requirements of Financial Procedure 15.

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

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

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.