Under Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER) employers are required to select and install work equipment properly, ensure its proper use and maintain it to protect those who may be affected by the way in which it is used.
7 Tips for Ensuring Health and Safety is Considered in the Procurement Process
- Before purchasing new equipment/machinery, you should determine: whether there is a requirement for notification to use the equipment (e.g. Ionising Radiation Regulations 1999); whether risk assessments have been undertaken; and what information, instruction, training and supervision will be required for employees who will be using it.
- Consult with safety representatives and employees about equipment suitability and general safety requirements prior to purchase.
- When you specify, hire or buy work equipment, you must ensure that it is appropriate and suitable for purpose, including how and where it is to be used.
- New machinery should be CE marked, safety checked for faults, errors or missing parts and provided with instructions in English. Work equipment should be marked with appropriate safety signs and texts to give information and warnings where there is a risk to health and safety, although basic hand tools and apparatus are excluded.
- You should ask the supplier for details of maintenance procedures, maintenance schedules and how to deal with breakdowns, problems, etc. This will ensure that work equipment remains in an efficient state, order and good repair so as not to place users at risk.
- Ensure spare parts will be supplied or readily available for the expected lifetime of the work equipment.
- Ensure that second-hand equipment is safe and has the necessary documentation as to safe use, including CE marking. If equipment is being hired from a third party, the hirer (i.e. the person who is offering it for hire) has a duty to ensure it safe for use at the point of hire/loan. However, the duty to ensure safety once in use is the responsibility of the hiree (i.e. the person who will be using the hired equipment).
Considering health and safety should be integral to the procurement of your machinery and equipment.