Compliance in a business covers everything, heavy-duty machinery included. As part of a business’s risk assessment, they will take into account that employees are operating dangerous equipment and put the necessary safety precautions in place to prevent an accident.
Risk assessments need to consider exactly how harm could come about, how this could be prevented and who could be at risk. Once this is established, safe operating procedures and training will need to be scheduled (free of charge) before employees are given free rein to operate heavy-duty machinery.
According to the government health & safety website: ‘Since 1995 all new machinery in scope of the Machinery Directive has to be designed and constructed to meet common minimum European requirements for safety.’ As well as the machinery having to meet certain requirements, ‘the Responsible Person must undertake a conformity assessment process to meet the Directive’s obligations.’ This means that machinery needs to meet certain requirements, but it also needs to be operated by someone who has the relevant training.
As an employer, it’s up to you to supply the training required to specific machinery as well as ensuring that machinery is keep up with services and has the safety ‘emergency stop’ technology fitted and up to date.
You should also consider The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations of 1998, otherwise known as PUWER, when it comes to the safe use of heavy-duty machinery. According to PUWER, we need to think about the ‘lifestyle’ approach to machine guarding.
This means taking into account ‘all aspects of the ‘use’ of the work equipment (machine), from the commissioning, operation, adjustment, cleaning and maintenance, through to the end-of-life decommissioning and disposal.’ This in-depth PUWER assessment should be carried out every 6-12 months so that hazards can be prevented and contained before they become a danger.
To avoid problems in the long run, it’s safer to buy machinery and equipment for your company from reputable dealers and manufacturers that are following the same guidelines. Look for the requirement BS EN ISSO 13857 that corresponds to the safety of machinery when you are shopping around.
For example Tente, a manufacturer of castor wheels for a range of applications, follow instructions from GPSG; EU-guidelines 2001/95/EG) to be within the law as manufacturers. This means that when the product gets to you, it is safe according to EU laws, for more information on this, click here.
The rules of compliance are important, ensure you safety procedures around heavy machinery are up to date and that staff are confident when it comes to managing such equipment to avoid injury, keep staff safe and also reduce the risk of compensation pay outs harming your business in the future.
Founder Dinis Guarda
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