Machine installation regulations still valid after Brexit
Leaving the EU will alter many things in this country, but the fundamental legislation that covers safety of machinery will not change.
The strict regulations governing the manufacture and usage of industrial machinery laid down under the Machinery Directive and Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER) will remain in force regardless of Brexit.
These rules are particularly important during factory relocation and machine moving exercises when the safety risks are increased. Moving a machine to a new location brings with it an increased risk to the user who will be unfamiliar with the surroundings and any changes in operation required by the new location.
The Machinery Directive came into full effect from 29 December 2009 and is implemented in the UK by the Supply of Machinery (Safety) Regulations 2008. It sets out a number of safety guidelines for the manufacture of equipment and the provision of a CE mark and declaration of conformity. This means that it is the manufacturer’s responsibility to ensure that any machinery meets the necessary health and safety regulations in its design and construction.
But just because the directive is aimed at manufacturers, it does not mean the owner and user is free from responsibility.
Users of machinery have responsibilities under the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER),2 as amended by the Health and Safety (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2002.
Any user must:
· select and provide suitable work equipment, taking account of working
conditions and the health and safety risks in the workplace;
· ensure that it is used correctly; and
· keep it maintained in a safe condition.
When buying new equipment (including machinery), users are also required by PUWER to check it complies with all relevant supply laws. This means checking it is:
· CE marked;
· supplied with a Declaration of Conformity and user instructions in English; and
· free from any obvious defect (such as missing or damaged guards).
Users also have other duties under PUWER, such as maintaining and inspecting the equipment to ensure it remains safe.
At VIG Industrial Relocation, safety is top of our agenda and any work we carry out strictly adheres to PUWER standards. We will carry out a full risk assessment, ensure that all the necessary documentation is in place and make sure the equipment is working properly and has all the safety features in place.
The PUWER regulations are very specific about the provision of proper safety guards and it is our job at VIG to ensure they are all in place after a machine move and, where necessary, adapted for the new location. You can find a guide to PUWER here.