What is PUWER?

PUWER stands for the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998. The regulations deal with the work equipment and machinery used in every day workplaces and aims to keep people safe wherever equipment and machinery is used at work. PUWER replaced the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1992, carrying forward the existing requirements with a number of changes and additions.

What does PUWER do?

PUWER regulations apply to work activities throughout the whole of Great Britain and also to offshore installations such as oil rigs and gas supply platforms. It isn't just large businesses that are subject to the regulations, if you use or control work equipment, or if you’re self-employed operating for profit or not, then you have legal obligation to follow them.

However, the regulations do not refer to equipment used by the public, which comes under Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. It also does not apply to those who have supplied or sold equipment, in this case it’s up to the purchaser of the equipment to make sure that it is specified, installed and used so that it does not present a risk to those at work.

The groups covered by PUWER include:

  • Employers

  • Self-employed people and the equipment they control or use

  • Those who are employed to supervise or manage the use of the equipment operated by others