straight forward health and safty advice
The main legislation on work equipment is the Provision and Use of Work
Work equipment comes in all shapes and sizes and varies from simple tools to complex
machinery. However, even using simple equipment can be a high risk.
One of the most common injuries is a severe cut sustained while using a
knife such as a “Stanley knife”- and a “Stanley knife” is quite a simple item
of work equipment. However simple or complicated the work equipment,
there will be safe ways to use it and unsafe ways to use it. The safe ways of
using work equipment, especially machines, are often referred to as “safe systems
of work” for that equipment or machine. The following pages provide basic guidance
for a range of equipment.
Before using any work equipment make sure you know
the safe way to use it. Usually this will involve asking
a competent person before you use the equipment for the first
time. Once you know the safe ways to use the equipment, always
use it in these safe ways. In order to work safely with machines or
items of equipment you have to:
find out what the safe system of work is for that machine or item of equipment
make sure you are competent in the safe system of work
follow the safe system of work at all times.
It is also essential to find out how to stop the machine in the event of an emergency. So far as
machinery guarding is concerned, you have to find out whether the machine should be fitted with a
If a machine should have a guard then you should:
never operate the machine without the guard in place, or
never try to defeat the guard.