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Acquisition, including Design and Modification

It is important to consider health and safety aspects when planning to introduce new or second hand machinery.: see Selection of Machinery and Equipment

Departments must ensure that there are arrangements in place for the design, construction or modification of bespoke or second hand equipment to be risk assessed to ensure that it meets health and safety requirements and is fit for use. These risk assessments must be carried out and signed off by a group of people including a Health and Safety Adviser.

Suppliers of new machinery and equipment must comply with what is known as ‘supply’ law. The supplier must ensure that machinery and equipment meets essential health, safety and environmental requirements which will enable it to be labelled with a UKCA or CE Mark (until 31 December 2021). Anyone purchasing work equipment must ensure that the appropriate UKCA marking and Certificates of Conformity (or Incorporation), along with information on the essential health and safety requirements, are provided at the point of purchase.

The UKCA (UK Conformity Assessed) marking is a new UK product marking that is used for goods being placed on the market in Great Britain (England, Wales and Scotland). It covers most goods which previously required the CE marking.

The UKCA conformity marking or CE marking which the manufacturer has applied claims that the machinery or relevant work equipment complies with the law. This marking in itself does not guarantee safety, but goes a long way to demonstrate compliance.

You will still need to assess the hazards and risks associated with the installation, use and maintenance of the machinery or equipment; that it is safe upon receipt; that it carries all necessary safety markings; that it is installed and commissioned correctly; and that it is fit for the purpose for which it is to be used.

For the purposes of compliance, the University requires you to purchase equipment with relevant UKCA (or currently, CE) marking where it applies. If you are intending to purchase or acquire equipment from outside of the EU or UK, then you will be required to find an importer, that will ensure the necessary compliance checks have been made on your behalf, or that you have the equipment tested and certified by a UK Market Conformity Assessment Body.

Second hand machinery or equipment must be assessed prior to agreeing to purchase or acquire to ensure that it meets health and safety requirements and is fit for use. A valid electrical test certificate and assurance that the equipment is free of asbestos containing materials should be sought, along with former CE/ UKCA marking (where appropriate).

Machinery and equipment that is designed and / or constructed by staff or students also needs to meet health and safety requirements.

If it is necessary to specify modifications to machinery, the modified design must be risk assessed and confirmed that the design and construction meets health and safety requirements and is fit for use.

External Links

UK Conformity Assessment (UKCA)

UKCA Marking - Frequently asked questions - includes links to it's application, Certification and Declarations of Conformity

UK Market Conformity Assessment Bodies

HSE Leaflet - Buying New Machinery - includes checklists to use with the supplier