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What you need to know about workshoplegislation

Workshop Legislation – What You Need To Know

Workshops can be dangerous places, with a variety of machinery, tools, equipment and heavy loads to be used and moved.  As such, there is a raft of legislation that is applicable to workshop safety.

The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER) apply to all work equipment.   They require that appropriate work equipment is provided for the tasks undertaken, information and instruction on its use is adequate, it is maintained in good working order and it has any reasonable safeguards in place to prevent risks to safety.  Any maintenance of equipment should be carried out safely and certain equipment should be inspected regularly to ensure it is safe to use.

The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 require that suitable risk assessments are made and appropriate action taken to prevent or minimise identified risks, including the training of staff in the use of equipment (some equipment may need a specific licence to be operated), the providing of adequate supervision of tasks and the implementation of emergency measures if something causes or could cause imminent danger.

Other equipment and operations using certain machinery or tools taking place in workshops may come under more specific legislation – the HSE guidance publication, Health and safety in engineering workshops, gives reference, specifically but not exclusively, to the above regulations as well as:

  • The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989
  • The Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations
  • Pressure Systems Safety Regulations 2000
  • Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002
  • Supply of Machinery (Safety) Regulations 1992
  • Noise at Work Regulations 1989
  • Control of Vibration at Work Regulations 2005
  • The Ionising Radiation Regulations 1999
  • The Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992

If any of the above legislation is applicable to the tools or equipment you use in your workshop (as well as any by-products produced in their application) you should take the required legal steps to eliminate or minimise the risks involved in their use.