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Chapter 15 EQUIPMENT SAFETY

When new regulations or updates to regulations occur, it is sometimes difficult to appreciate their importance and it is only with time that this becomes obvious.

The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER 98) and the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 (LOLER) ,  are now in force.

PUWER and LOLER both apply to work equipment used in all industry sectors. They are designed to maintain and improve existing standards. The primary objective of both regulations is to ensure that work equipment should not result in health & safety risks, regardless of age, condition or origin

PUWER 98 and its supporting ACoP replaces the existing PUWER 92 and applies to all equipment (including lifting equipment) used at work in sectors ranging from construction and agriculture to health care and education.

All the requirements of PUWER 92 are carried forward but there are certain very important additions

The regulations look particularly at risks from mobile work equipment and stresses four important requirements

LOLER and its supporting ACoP deal with the particular risks posed by the provision and use of lifting equipment and the management of lifting operations. The regulations require

Employers (the regulations calls them Dutyholders) now have the choice

or

So what does PUWER 98 mean to you - hopefully just a gradual move from the situation you should have been in since you responded to PUWER 92!

  1. All equipment must be up to the CE Standard - make a list of all your equipment and check with your manufacturer to confirm the equipment is up to the present CE standard. Please keep a written record of having carried this out.
  2. With the CE marking comes information from the manufacturer on what the equipment can be used for - or more importantly what it should not be used for!! Please keep a written record of having considered this
  3. It is at this stage you should consider the provision of roll-over protection. May I suggest that consideration be made not only of working on slopes but also the risk inherent in working next to bunkers especially if they have revetted turf walls.
  4. Consider how you are going to maintain the equipment at the required standard, daily maintenance, weekly maintenance and periodic maintenance. The manufacturers instruction manual should be used for this and any deviation from the manual and the reasoning behind the deviation noted. Please note that if you allow the equipment to fall below the standard you will now be in breach of the regulations.
  5. If you carry out any changes in the equipment, you must carry out a written risk assessment to confirm that the equipment is equally or more safe after your alteration. This could be very important as most equipment is not maintained in the state in which it was provided by the manufacturer - removing of parts or addition of accessories could compromise safety
  6. The equipment should only be used by qualified operators. This covers several points.
  • if the equipment is left unattended, you must prevent start up by unauthorised persons. Generally this means removing the key. If however, the greenkeeping sheds are a totally controlled area, it should not be necessary to remove keys when parked inside the shed.
  • the training and supervision and competence has to be considered.
  • Many Golf Clubs send their young greenkeepers to Colleges and Training Providers for training in Greenkeeping. Is this enough for this regulation? The course in the use of equipment should, instruct, supervise and allow practice until the operator reaches an acceptable level of competence. Write to your Training Provider and ask for written confirmation that their training course can confirm that your operator has achieved an acceptable level of competence for that item of equipment.
  • Do you have a written Safe Working Practice for the use of the equipment? I have given you examples of this in the past - for those who have a modem, see Chapter 19
  • If weather protection, or any other addition, is placed on equipment, the drivers field of vision must not be compromised. New equipment will have to consider the driver's field of vision as part of the design.

I have no doubt but that further tightening of the regulations will occur in the future. It is as well to get yourself organised now!!


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