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November 1, 2010

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Machine sellers warned to comply with inspection regulations

One of the UK’s leading safety and compliance consultants has warned that many companies are failing to comply with legal requirements when disposing of unwanted work equipment.

This is according to safety and compliance consultancy Laidler Associates, which says companies disposing of work equipment are failing to comply with the requirements of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER), which cover such disposals.

Laidler claims that companies that sell or dispose of work equipment frequently assume that it’s the responsibility of the person who acquires the equipment to take care of requirements relating to PUWER. However, although the new owner is required to undertake a PUWER inspection before putting the equipment into service, says Laidler, the former owner also has a legal obligation to supply evidence of the last PUWER inspection. This evidence must be in printed form, verbal assurance, or an email message, is not acceptable.

The Regulations also state that companies purchasing second-hand work equipment have an obligation to ensure that they have seen evidence of the last inspection. Paul Laidler, of Laidler Associates, said: “When you dispose of an item of work equipment, it’s all too easy to assume that it’s the end of the story. But the reality of the situation is rather different. If you haven’t provided the correct documentation with the equipment, and someone is injured using it, you could find yourself facing prosecution months, or even years, after you disposed of it.€ᄄ€ᄄ

“Note that the same rules apply even if you send the equipment for scrapping. PUWER talks only about equipment ‘leaving the undertaking’; it doesn’t make any exceptions for particular circumstances, such as sending equipment to be scrapped. To support this, the New Machinery Directive states that manufacturers must address all phases of the machine–lifecycle from transportation to scrapping.”

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