PUWER Inspection Learning

This Article is a sub-topic of the PUWER Guide
Mar 22, 2023

When your machine has specific risks you need measures to prevent unauthorised use.

Often work equipment, despite the best efforts of designers, will have specific risks. A specific risk is one where the designer has tried and exhausted the possibility to make the machine safe by eliminating or removing hazards by safe design, or adding safeguards and complementary protective measures such as emergency stops and devices for isolation of the supply.

What remains are “specific risks” and the designer will provide information to the user to highlight these risks in the manual and on the work equipment with appropriate signs.

Typical Control Measures

Technical means are needed to restrict access e.g. key switch or area access control. For normal operation and for repairs, modifications, maintenance observing, the employer must ensure operators follow safe systems of work (SSoW) and have appropriate information, instruction and training for the tasks they perform. Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) form a part of that SSoW and should include a risk assessment that considers relevant hazards and those potentially exposed to them.

For example, engineering workshop machinery tend to have specific risks to safety associated with dangerous parts during normal use. It is good practice to ensure that when not in use, the supply is locked out to prevent unauthorised use. Also consider specific risks to health during tasks, examples include manual handling, exposure to dust, noise and / or vibration.

Useful References

L22; reg 7, Machinery Directive/Supply Regulations EHSR 1.2.2,

Related Article = What is a PUWER inspection and how often should it take place?

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