The Different Laws Impacting Safety Inspections


The law places certain duties on anyone working with potentially hazardous equipment. Those who supply, install and maintain the equipment; those who undertake thorough examinations and those involved with the use of the equipment. Let’s have a look at the main pieces of legislation and how they relate to safety inspections.

Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974 (HSWA)

The HSWA is the primary piece of legislation covering occupational health and safety in Great Britain. It sets out general employer duties including a duty of care towards employees including the provision and maintenance of plant and systems of work that are, so far as is reasonably practicable, safe and without risks to health

Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations 1999 (MHSWR)

Under MHSWR, employers and self-employed people are required to assess risks to health and safety from their undertaking. This includes risks from the use, repair and examination of equipment on their premises. The duty holder should then put in place the organisation and arrangements to ensure that those measures are properly implemented.

The Provision & Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER)

PUWER requires all equipment and machinery to be maintained, inspected and safe to use. PUWER places duties on any person who has control to any extent of
• work equipment
• a person at work who uses, supervises or manages the use of work equipment
• or the way in which work equipment is used at work (including maintenance).

The Lifting Operations & Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 (LOLER)

LOLER deals with the specific risks arising from the use of work equipment (including lifting accessories) to lift loads. It builds upon PUWER and applies to the same groups of people. LOLER also introduces particular requirements for lifting equipment which is used to lift people, and a requirement for the thorough examination and reporting of defect.

Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992 (PPE)

These Regulations impose health and safety requirements for the provision of, and use by, persons at work of personal protective equipment. The Regulations require employers to ensure suitable personal protective equipment is provided, without charge, for their employees. The PPE must be used, stored and maintained correctly and employees are also required to report to their employer the loss of or any obvious defect in personal protective equipment.


Work at Height Regulations 2005 (WAH)

The Work at Height Regulations impose health and safety requirements for work at height. These include:
• organisation and planning
• hierarchy of control
• competence and supervision
• steps to be taken to avoid risk from work at height
• selection of work equipment
• inspection of work equipment.

The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 (CDM)

The purpose of the CDM regulations is to improve health and safety in construction work, both during the project, and for any future work, use and maintenance of the building or structure. Consequently the CDM regulations place several key duties on virtually everyone involved in construction work in respect of the planning, management and monitoring of health, safety and welfare in construction projects. These include a duty on every person working under the control of another to report anything that is likely to endanger health or safety.

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