There are plenty of conditions in which a machine would require to be inspected that are fully covered in PUWER regulation 6 to ensure healthy and safety conditions are maintained to a high standard.
A requirement of PUWER is that an individual considered to be a competent person, must examine, and test the machinery before it is first used. This is what’s known as a PUWER Inspection.
But the story does not end there. Just like your fixed wiring, PUWER is a statutory inspection and must be treated in the same way. This is why the Regulations specifically state that there should be re-inspection at suitable intervals. That is, where work equipment is exposed to conditions causing deterioration liable to result in dangerous situations.
What is a suitable interval?
Inspection intervals depend on the equipment type, the associated risks and the particular work environment it is used in as this may cause quicker deterioration. For example, equipment used outside may require more frequent inspection due to corrosion. It is our opinion that inspections should not exceed 48 months when combined with operator checks and a robust and comprehensive preventative maintenance system in place. Without interim control, PUWER inspections could be required much sooner, even within a year.
Inspections can be carried out by a third-party company like us, the end user, or any other competent individual that has undergone appropriate PUWER Training.
The factor of risk involved for non compliance being life threatening should be enough to affirm the importance of PUWER regulations being fully integrated into workplace training from the top to the bottom of your company structure.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re a department head or an administrator, everyone in your business should be aware of PUWER regulations as if they were operating machinery themselves.
Are there other conditions in which a machine would require a PUWER inspection?
Not only do you have to carry out inspections at suitable intervals, but also each time exceptional circumstances are liable to have jeopardised the safety of the work equipment.
These reasons include:
- Major modifications, known or suspected serious damage,
- Substantial change in the nature of use
- When an accident has occured.
If any defects are found that could result in a dangerous situation for the user of the machine, findings must be recorded and kept until at least the next inspection.