Work Equipment

Procedure for the Provision
and Use of Work Equipment

Introduction

It is vitally important to ensure that:

  1. all work equipment is both suitable for the purpose for which it is to be used and where it is to be used.
  2. adequate maintenance systems are in force.
  3. employees receive adequate information, instruction and training for the work equipment they use. This requirement also extends to the employees immediate supervisor or manager.

Employers must ensure that work equipment used by employees meets the statutory requirements. In order to comply with this requirement it is necessary to keep on file up to date and relevant information about any equipment used in the course of the employers business.

The information required should cover the following points:

(a) equipment identification

(b) equipment assessment

(c) risk reduction methods

Definitions

The definition of 'use' is very wide and means any activity involving the equipment e.g. stopping, starting, transporting, maintaining and cleaning. The definition of 'work equipment' is also very wide encompassing the most complicated computer operated equipment to a simple hand tool whether owned, loaned, hired or used by employees.

Assessment Procedure

1. Identify and make a list of all work equipment present in the workplace.

2. An assessment should be carried out on the equipment (other than equipment that has been assessed in accordance with other statutory requirements) using the Work Equipment Assessment form. This assessment can often be done on groups of similar equipment e.g. hand tools or if required on an individual item basis.

3. When the completion of the assessment confirms that action is required then any action points identified should be implemented.

Action points can be for example:

(i) introduction of a safer system of work or change of equipment

(ii) modification of equipment

(iii) improved maintenance procedures

(iv) the provision of information

(v) introduction of personal protective equipment

(NOTE: personal protective equipment should only be used as a control measure when other forms of control are considered inadequate)

Assessment Review

All assessments should be reviewed at least annually and immediately for new or modified equipment or if it is suspected that the existing assessment may no longer be valid or that the circumstances involving the use of the equipment have changed significantly.

 

 

 

 

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This information is derived from the Health & Safety Manual and Kit
For further information about the Kit, visit The Essential Health and Safety Manual home page
 
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