Understanding UK Machinery 
Safety Legislation

Machinery safety in the United Kingdom is governed by two key sets of regulations that are crucial for anyone involved in the manufacture, operation, or maintenance of industrial machines.

Supply of Machinery (Safety) Regulations 2008 and CE Marking

The Supply of Machinery (Safety) Regulations 2008, amended by the Supply of Machinery (Safety) (Amendment) Regulations 2011, forms the cornerstone of machinery safety in the UK. These regulations mandate that all machines introduced to the European market bear the CE mark, in compliance with the European Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC.

To ensure compliance with these regulations, machines must meet the following criteria:

  • A system of conformity assessment must be in place.
  • Machines must adhere to the Essential Health and Safety Requirements of the Machinery Directive, reflecting the latest industry standards.
  • Each machine should be accompanied by a Declaration of Conformity (DoC).
  • User instructions must be provided in the language of the end user.
  • A comprehensive Technical File must be compiled.
  • CE marking should be visibly displayed.

At Procter Machine Safety, our machine guards come with a Declaration of Conformity and may be CE marked, depending on specific circumstances. We are committed to helping you navigate the complexities of these regulations. (Consider adding an internal link to your White Paper for more information.)

Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER 98)

The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998, commonly known as PUWER 98, impose responsibilities on individuals and organizations that own, operate, or oversee the use of work equipment.

For newly introduced machines and those being used for the first time, a PUWER assessment is essential. Notably, Regulation 11 of PUWER focuses on safeguarding against dangerous machine components. Key aspects include:

  • Regulation 11(1): Employers must implement effective measures (as specified in Regulation 11(2)) to prevent access to hazardous machine parts or to halt machine movement before personnel can enter danger zones.
  • Regulation 11(3): Specific requirements pertain to machine guards and protective devices.
  • Regulation 11(4): Measures in Regulation 11(3) apply to “protection appliances” such as jigs, holders, and push-sticks.

While PUWER does not mandate adherence to specific standards, following the Approved Code of Practice and Guidance (ACOP) from the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) is often sufficient for demonstrating compliance. Although not legally obligatory, conforming to ACOP and applicable standards is the best practice for conducting thorough risk assessments and ensuring legal compliance.

During inspections, HSE inspectors will generally expect organizations to have followed the PUWER ACOP.

Additional Resources

For further information and resources related to machinery safety regulations, please explore these valuable sources:

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