PEME Design Manager and Engineering Compliance specialist, Steve Wiles, was recently asked for his views on machine guarding and how they comply with PUWER regulations.
Steve advises that the PUWER Regulations 1998 aim to make working life safer for everyone using and coming into contact with machinery and equipment, including operators, maintainers, contractors and anyone else who might use or have access to machinery in the workplace.
The regulations aim to ensure that all equipment is:
- suitable for its intended purpose
- regularly maintained to ensure safety
- only used by people who have received adequate training
- inspected by a competent worker
Steve goes on to say “PUWER Regulation 11 says you must take effective measures to prevent access to dangerous parts of the machinery, by identifying the ‘danger zone’ by means of risk assessment and the requirements for guards and protection devices in order to protect employees from the hazards associated with machinery.
In PEME’s experience, newly installed machines are usually compliant but PUWER non-compliance commonly results from one or more of: historical fault finding and inapt repair; inappropriate on-site modification and inadequate maintenance.
To help manufacturers overcome these issues, PEME completes an Engineering Compliance health-check of production assets and advises on any non-conformance remedial work. We take a pragmatic view on the need for remedial work; considering safety first, then cost and then operational effectiveness. Finally, a program is put in-place to ensure the newly compliant PUWER regime is maintained through-life.”