PUWER Inspections

Why choose us for PUWER Inspections?

We will undertake the inspection of your work equipment in compliance with the PUWER regulations and provide a detailed report that contains the findings of the inspection and any comments and recommendations that are relevant, including remedial work required.

All our engineer surveyors are competent to act as your Competent Person. They undertake all inspections following our in-house procedures, Risk Assessment and Method Statements (RAMS).

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What is PUWER?

PUWER stands for the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998. They place duties on people and companies who own, operate, or have control over work equipment.  They also place responsibilities on businesses and organisations whose employees use work equipment, whether owned by them or not. The main objective is to ensure the provision of safe work equipment throughout the lifetime of its use, regardless of its condition, age or origin.

What are PUWER inspections?

The purpose of a PUWER inspection is to detect any deterioration of the equipment. It can then be remedied before it develops into a serious safety risk. The aim is to establish that a piece of work equipment is safe to operate.

PUWER inspections are also known as Work Equipment Inspections, Machinery Inspections, Insurance Inspections, or Plant Inspections.

PUWER Safety Cage
Safety Cage

What does a PUWER inspection include?

A PUWER inspection should focus on the parts of work equipment that can deteriorate and pose a risk to a user’s health and safety. Depending on the type of equipment and how often it is used, this may vary from a simple visual inspection to a detailed examination after it has been dismantled.

A PUWER inspection should always include a look at the parts of the equipment that are necessary for the safe operation of equipment, such as emergency stop switches.

The parts of the work equipment that need to be inspected, the inspection procedure, and the frequency of the inspection should be determined by a competent person.

Who can undertake PUWER inspections?

PUWER states the person determining the inspection process must be competent. A competent person is someone who has sufficient knowledge and experience to be able to decide:

  • what the inspection should include
  • how it should be performed
  • when it should be carried out

The necessary level of competence will vary from inspection to inspection, according to the type of equipment and its level of use.

Anyone who has sufficient knowledge and experience can inspect work equipment that PUWER applies to. To have sufficient knowledge and experience they must know;

  • what to look at
  • what to look for
  • what to do if they find a problem

The person undertaking the inspection does not have to be the same person determining the inspection process. This makes PUWER adaptable in the workplace.

In the case of small low-risk equipment, a competent person could determine the inspection process. You can then train someone in-house to know what to look at, what to look for, and what to do if they find a problem. They could then perform the inspection following the inspection process.

However, the competent person would require far greater knowledge and experience for larger items such as excavators, loading shovels, etc. Companies often employ the services of an inspection company like ours to undertake annual inspections of this type of plant. Some companies even employ the services of an inspection company to perform annual inspections of smaller items like pillar drills and bench saws. It provides them with a detailed report produced by an independent competent person.


What equipment does PUWER cover?

It is a catch-all regulation, that defines work equipment as;

  • Any apparatus
  • Any appliance
  • Any machine
  • Any tool
  • Any installation used for work purposes.

Any work equipment that does not fall under other regulations such as LOLER or PSSR will normally fall under PUWER. If another regulation only covers part of an item of equipment, most likely PUWER will cover the rest. Using a forklift truck as an example, LOLER only applies to the lifting parts of the truck. But a forklift truck can be a dangerous piece of equipment even when not lifting. This is where PUWER steps in and covers the things like brakes, tyres, lights, etc.

Dump Truck
Dump Truck

Are power presses covered by the PUWER regulations?

Yes, all power presses fall within the PUWER regulations.

They define a power press as a press or press brake for the working of metal by means of tools, or for die proving, which is power driven and which embodies a flywheel and clutch. PUWER regulations 32 to 35 apply to these power presses. The HSE views power presses as being among the most dangerous machines used in industry. As such, they have produced a stand-alone Approved Code of Practice (ACOP) covering this section of the regulations. Regulations 32 to 35 places a similar regime of examination, reporting, and record-keeping to this type of power press which is similar to the requirements LOLER places on lifting equipment.

However, presses that do not fit this description still need to comply with the rest of the PUWER regulations.

Can I get a copy of the Approved Code of Practice?

To download the PUWER Approved Code of Practice and guidance free of charge from the HSE website, click here.

To download the PUWER (as applied to power presses) Approved Code of Practice and guidance free of charge from the HSE website, click here.