The law

There are three key pieces of legislation that machinery manufacturers and suppliers need to be aware of:

Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974

Section 6 applies to anyone who supplies by sale or hire any equipment for use at work – included used machinery. Manufacturers and suppliers of machines must provide equipment that is safe for use at work. This legislation also applies to the supply of used machinery.

Supply of Machinery (Safety) Regulations 2008

These Regulations implement the Machinery Directive (2006/42/EC) and apply to all new machinery, including imports from outside the EU. The responsible person who will generally be the manufacturer or supplier must:

  • identify all the hazards – including possible misuse – that apply to their machinery
  • design and construct it, taking account of their risk assessment
  • meet the essential health and safety requirements (EHSRs) in the Regulations
  • make a declaration of conformity and CE mark the machine.

Tractors are a special case. They have their own type approval system and are exempt from these requirements where other EU Directives have dealt with the relevant EHSRs.

Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER)

In general applies to users of machinery at work. Equipment provided for use at work must be:

  • suitable for the intended use
  • safe for use
  • maintained in a safe condition
  • used only by people who have received adequate information, instruction and training
  • accompanied by suitable safety measures, eg protective devices, markings, warnings.

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