Which Equipment Types Do The PUWER Regulations Cover?

June 16, 2016
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The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (or ‘PUWER’) were introduced to ensure that all equipment you use in the workplace is suitable, safe and only operated by trained people and according to relevant health and safety requirements.

Where Do PUWER Regulations Apply?

The PUWER Regulations apply to anyone who owns, operates or controls work equipment – including employers, employees, contractors and suppliers – whether these people are full-time, part-time or temporary workers.

The PUWER Regulations apply equally to equipment that is owned or equipment that is hired by a company. No matter where your work equipment has originated, it is always the operator’s responsibility to ensure that it is suitable and safe before first use.

The PUWER Regulations apply to equipment used in all types of workplaces. Whether you work in a factory, construction site, farm, shop hospital or office, the PUWER Regulations apply to you if you use equipment or machinery of any kind.

PUWER Regulations Equipment Types

The PUWER Regulations refer simply (and perhaps ambiguously) to ‘work equipment’. This rather vague terminology means that any equipment used in the workplace is covered by the legislation and so must be suitable assessed before use. ‘Work equipment’ therefore includes:

Machinery (fixed or temporary) e.g: Appliances, e.g: Apparatus, e.g:
  • Lifts and hoists
  • Conveyors
  • Sewing machines
  • Paint booths
  • Food processors
  • Forklift trucks
  • Cherry pickers
  • Lathes
  • Medical equipment
  • Drills
  • Motor vehicles
  • Commercial fridge/freezers
  • Ovens and microwaves
  • Dishwashers
  • Washing machines
  • Commercial coffee makers
  • Domestic appliances
  • Hot/cold holding units
  • Photocopiers
  • Computers
  • Cooking equipment
  • Medical instruments
  • Dental equipment
  • Laboratory items
  • Clamps
  • Pumps and hoses
  • Ladders
  • Floor polishers
  • Harnesses
  • Scaffolding
  • Fire-fighting equipment
  • Personal Protective Equipment


Tools (including hand-held), e.g: Installations, e.g:
  • Abrasive wheels
  • Power tools
  • Glue guns
  • Wood presses
  • Pressure washers
  • Saws
  • Belt sanders
  • Pallet trucks
  • Hammers
  • Electrical wiring
  • Lighting
  • Water sprinklers
  • Escalators and elevators
  • Air con units
  • Heating systems
  • Plumbing systems
  • Emergency stop controls


The ‘Use of Work Equipment’ referred to in the title of the Regulations refers to any activity involving equipment, whether that be starting, stopping, programming, setting, transporting, repairing, modifying, maintaining, servicing and/or cleaning it.

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