Managing Work Equipment
The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations (PUWER) sets out the employer's duty in managing work equipment safely and effectively. It also states that all work equipment must meet certain safety requirements, and be used safely following safe systems of work established by the employer. There are also specific requirements for certain machinery e.g. woodworking machinery, power presses etc.
This health and safety training course will help delegates to understand the requirements of the PUWER Regulations, and enable employers to meet their legal and practical obligations.
The Managing Work Equipment course is designed to introduce delegates to the requirements for managing work equipment. It is suitable for people with responsibility for managing and performing a risk assessment on the use of equipment - including managers, supervisors and safety representatives.
What Does the Course Cover?
The syllabus of the Managing Work Equipment course covers relevant issues such as:
- Scope, suitability and use of work equipment
- Maintenance and inspection requirements
- Operation and emergency controls
- Hand held tool hazards and controls
- Machinery hazards and controls
- Conformity and community requirements
- Control measures for electrical systems and equipment
- Information, instruction, training and supervision requirements
As part of the course, delegates will be completing exercises and participating in group work. In addition, delegates will be introduced to the Approved Code of Practice for the PUWER Regulations.
Our trainers and health and safety consultants are qualified and experienced health and safety professionals with a broad experience of industries to complement their training skills.
All consultants hold professional membership of the chartered Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) and a professional trainer's qualification such as the PTLLS certificate.
This course is primarily delivered in-house at your premises. The course content can be tailored to your specific requirements, taking into account the specific dangers and working practices of your particular company and industry. It can also be combined with one or more other courses to create a truly bespoke training programme for your employees.
For more information please call 0844 800 3295 or send us an online contact form with a description of your training requirements.
Frequently Asked Questions
The Managing Work Equipment course is delivered over half a day (three hours). This enables the course to be provided to two different groups on one day, meaning that not all of your staff need to be away from the workplace at the same time.
Each delegate will be issued with a workbook to assist them both during and after the course, which will contain information, guidance and forms.
The course is designed to be interactive, allowing delegates the opportunity to develop their skills with the support of the course tutor.
Delegates will be awarded a certificate of attendance upon successful completion of the course.
Our Managing Work Equipment course is not currently scheduled as an open course, and is currently only available as an in-house course where we come to your premises and deliver the training for a number of your employees.
For more information, and to discuss your training requirements further, please call us on 0844 800 3295 or send us an online contact form.
Maintenance, Health & Safety and Noise Risks
Old and/or poorly maintained machinery and equipment can pose a danger to the health and safety of those nearby in a number of different ways, in particular through worn or missing parts, and the danger from noise on hearing.
Older Machines are Likely to be More of a Health and Safety Hazard
Whilst new machines and pieces of equipment can still break and be dangerous when they are used for the first time if they have not been thoroughly tested and run-in, it is more likely that dangers will come from old machines which have one or more of the following conditions:
- Parts that have become worn and may cause the machine/equipment to break and cause possible injury
- Parts that have become loose and may fly off during operation, causing a serious injury to the operator or a person situated nearby
- Damaged or missing safety features which would ordinarily prevent an accident from occurring. Examples include hand guards for hand-held equipment such as chainsaws, or even emergency stop buttons which have fallen off and are no longer operational
- Damaged cables for electrically-powered tools. Over time the power cable can become frayed or the protective casing accidentally cut ever so slightly, which can create the possibility of electrocution
Machinery and Equipment Dangers are Covered on Many Health and Safety Courses
The danger to a person's safety and wellbeing that can occur from using tools and equipment is so great that many health and safety courses like the NEBOSH General Certificate contain modules and elements which take an in-depth look at many of the potential risks and hazards that are associated with their usage, maintenance, storage and a lack of appropriate training before commencing operating them.
Indirect Danger Posed by Failing Machinery
As well as posing a potential danger to health and safety directly, machines are also utilised extensively in monitoring and automated safety features. If this equipment fails for some reason then the safety system may not activate when it is needed, which can result in serious injury, illness or death to workers and anyone else who happens to be in the vicinity. If this accident were to occur at a facility such as a nuclear power plant, it can have extremely serious consequences for many people over an extremely large area. Along with the health of human beings, it will also create extensive death and damage to the surrounding environment too for a long period of time.
The Importance of Maintaining and Replacing Equipment for Preventing Accidents
We have seen in the paragraphs above that old or poorly maintained machinery and pieces of equipment can pose serious risks to the health, safety and wellbeing of both workers and members of the public alike. Therefore it is imperative that this equipment is regularly inspected for damage and is sufficiently maintained by a person who is competently trained and has the required knowledge to carry out the maintenance properly. If they are not suitably competent, the act of performing the maintenance can actually create a danger to health and safety! It is also strongly recommended to replace old equipment and machinery which is likely to fail soon with newer equipment.
Not only can this newer equipment reduce the potential for health and safety incidents in the workplace, but it is likely that it will be more efficient than the previous model which has environmental benefits through the consumption of less energy and can also save the company money due to lower electricity bills.
Noise Risks to Hearing
Newer machinery can often take advantage of advances in technology and materials to operate far more quietly than machines built in the past, which can significantly reduce the potential for damage to the hearing of those near the machine. Not only can newer machines be quieter than older ones, but old ones which have worn or loose parts can also produce a great deal of noise and vibration.
Although measures can be taken to reduce the levels of sound which actually reach the ears of people, it is far more preferable - as it is with other health and safety risks and dangers - to remove the problem at source by replacing the machinery with quieter models.
Stopped Equipment Can Still Be Dangerous
The operation of tools and equipment can be dangerous to the person operating them, not to mention those nearby who could be impacted by a malfunctioning piece of equipment or the actions (or inactions) of the operator. Whether it is insufficient maintenance, unsuitable equipment for the particular job or task, or lack of training in the equipment's correct use as well as general health and safety training, equipment can pose a danger to health and cause death or serious injury.
The vast majority of accidents and injuries involving equipment occur when the equipment is in use from sharp blades or entanglement in moving parts for example. So it would be all too easy for a person to think that when equipment is stopped or not in use that it is no longer dangerous, when in fact many can still be the cause of serious accidents and injuries.
First off there will still be a risk of cuts and lacerations from blades and sharp edges even if they are not rotating or in use. A worker needs to be carful when performing maintenance or transporting the equipment to avoid injuring themselves in this manner.
Machinery which has been in use and has a motor or rotating parts is likely to get extremely hot. This will take some time to cool down after it has stopped, meaning that there is a risk of burns to anyone who touches it before it has cooled sufficiently. This is particularly likely if the operator leaves the equipment unattended after use and somebody else comes along and unwittingly touches it without realising it is hot until it is too late.
Many tools and pieces of equipment will run on electricity. Even when they have been stopped there will be a risk of electrocution if they are still connected to the electricity supply. Whilst it would not normally be a problem, it will be a significant risk if the equipment is defective such as it having damaged wiring, or if a person undertakes maintenance work without first disconnecting the machine from the power.
Manual handling issues also come into play with stopped equipment, as portable equipment and tools which are stopped will usually then be moved about and loaded/unloaded onto transport vehicles. Heavy or bulky tools and equipment, as most are likely to be, can cause manual handling injuries as they are manipulated such as being lifted up or carried. It may therefore be necessary to provide manual handling training to those workers who will be frequently moving such equipment.
Certain types of machinery require the operator to use both hands in order to make it work. This is primarily the case on machinery and equipment that has dangerous parts such as rotating blades; for example many push along petrol lawnmowers only work by squeezing the left and right handles on the handlebar to get the blades spinning and the lawnmower to move. By forcing the operator to have both hands on the controls and therefore in a safe place, it means their hands should not be at risk whilst the equipment is in operation.
Whilst positively contributing to overall levels of health and safety and offering protection for the operator, there are also some drawbacks associated with two-handed machinery. For starters, whilst the operator's hands may be in a safe location, there may be little protection afforded for other workers or people nearby who can still be seriously injured by the machinery if they were to get too close. It will also only afford protection for the operator's hands, with dangers to other parts of the body - especially the feet - still existing.
The distance of the two-handed controls from the dangerous part combined with the time taken for these parts to come to a complete stop will play a part in the probability of an accident occurring. If the parts take a while to come to a complete stop after the controls have been released the worker may reach down to clear a blockage or something and injure themselves on the still moving parts.
Two-handed controls also need to be sufficiently spaced apart to prevent an operator being able to hold both down with just one hand, otherwise their other hand may inadvertently come into contact with the dangerous area. If they are able to do this then it defeats the entire purpose of having controls requiring two hands to be used.
As well as certain types of lawnmowers, two-handed machinery is used in industries such as the construction industry. The safe use of work equipment and the multitude of hazards and risks that they present are covered in health and safety qualifications such as the NEBOSH Diploma, NEBOSH General Certificate and the NEBOSH Construction Certificate. Please click here for more information regarding NEBOSH courses.