WORKPLACE SAFETY IN UK BEFORE PUWER
There were over 160,000 cases of workplace injuries every year in UK in the 1990s. To reduce this, the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations (PUWER) was introduced to improve the workplace safety. PUWER requires that equipment provided for use at work is safe for use, used only by qualified worker, and accompanied by suitable health and safety measures and procedures.
THE IMPORTANCE OF PUWER
Since PUWER was made effective, the number of workplace injuries have reduced by more than half. Nonetheless, accidents relating to moving machinery in UK contributed to about 6% of fatalities and close to 10% of non-fatal injuries . These eventually cost the employers GBP 252 million (~EUR 281 million) and 2.7 million lost working days annually. PUWER places legal obligations on companies who operate or have control over work equipment, they must ensure the workplace is a safe working environment for all employees. By complying with PUWER companies can demonstrate that their workplace is safe environment and their machinery and equipment is safe to use.
THE RELEVANCE OF PUWER IN YOUR WORKPLACE
If your business or organisation uses work equipment or is involved in providing work equipment for others to use, you must manage the risks from that equipment. This means you need to:
Ensure work equipment is only used for suitable purposes.
Take account of the working conditions and health and safety risks in the workplace when selecting work year in equipment.
Take measures to prevent or control the risks to people from parts and substances falling or being ejected from work equipment.
Ensure that work equipment is provided with appropriately identified controls for starting, stopping and controlling it, and that these control systems are safe.
Take effective measures to prevent access to dangerous parts of machinery
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