Pitfalls Where Duties Overlap
For duty holders to ensure in practice that they do not breach The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (Work Equipment Regulations), the employer needs to pay special attention to:
- ensuring that nothing falls between the cracks by assuming that a particular requirement has been met by another duty holder under the Work Equipment Regulations (such as a landlord who also has responsibility for the lifts in the building, or another employer in the workplace with whom a photocopier is shared). In particular he needs to have clear arrangements for co-operation and co-ordination, as required by the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1992;
- ensuring that suppliers of every type of work equipment fulfil their duties under section 6 of the Health and Safety at Work Act. In particular he needs suppliers to provide him with, and keep him up to date with, health and safety information about the equipment;
- ensuring that, as regards equipment that is NOT governed by specific EU product directives, all relevant requirements are met. Care should be taken to avoid relying on the CE mark as proof of safety since producers may, through ignorance or to try and gain a marketing advantage, affix it where it is not required;
- ensuring that equipment governed by EU product directives carries the CE mark, that the Declaration of Conformity is justified in that the requirements which also apply to the producer have been met, and that other relevant requirements are also met.