Before buying, hiring or acquiring machinery or work equipment, whether from within the EU or elsewhere, you should ensure that you have considered the following issues during the selection process:
- What are you intending to use it for, is the equipment/machinery the most suitable?
- Will the work environment affect the choice of equipment/machinery?
- Will the type of persons using it affect your choice of equipment/machinery?
- Is there sufficient space and lighting to operate and maintain the equipment/machinery safely?
- What standards does it comply with? Are there any applicable international standards, such as IEC 62133?
- Do any Harmonised or European Standards apply, and, if so, is it 'CE Marked' and accompanied by the relevant Certification and instructions?
- If the work equipment is being purchased from outside the EU are you using a UK or EU based intermediary? If not you must contact the H&S department prior to purchase, as you may be assuming additional legal obligations!
- Are there specific requirements for electrical supply, water supply, liquid or gaseous effluent discharge, gases (including gas cylinders), fuel etc?
- What hazards are associated with its use and maintenance ? Have these been eliminated wherever practicable ?
- Is there potential for the equipment/machinery to introduce hazards into the workplace such as dust, fumes, mists, vapours, gases, heat, lasers, radiation, noise, vibration etc that may need further evaluation?
- What are the requirements to clean, inspect, examine and maintain the equipment/machinery?
- Is there sufficient information available to safely operate, clean, maintain, inspect the equipment (consider language)?
- Is there a need for specific instruction and training to deem persons competent?
- Compare how well health and safety risks are controlled by different manufacturers.
- What additional control measures may be necessary to ensure that people are not put at risk?
If the equipment is to be used to work at height then further issues are covered in Working at Height
Once the equipment has been purchased, it must be logged onto the Department’s Asset Register and a full risk assessment must be carried out under the Provision of Work Equipment Regulations before it is put to use for the first time.