2018 marks the 20th anniversary of the PUWER (Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations) and LOLER (Lifting and Operating Equipment Regulations).
So we thought it would be a great time to do a mini round-up of how these have impacted the health & safety industry since they have been introduced.
Most prosecutions brought under these regulations relate to a failure to prevent access to dangerous machinery or failure to plan, supervise & safely carry out lifting operations.
Summary of statistics*
- The 4th highest cause of death between 2013 and 2018 was contact with machinery
- In 2017/2018 alone, 9% of fatal work accidents, and 4% of non-fatal work accidents involved contact with moving machinery.
- Half of machinery accidents arise during maintenance - recently Tata Steel were fined £1.4million after a worker carrying out maintenance was killed by an overhead crane.
- A HUGE 21% of non-fatal injuries reported in the UK during 2017/2018 involved handling, lifting or carrying.
- There were fewer prosecutions under LOLER than PUWER since their introduction.
*Taken from Health & Safety at Work
Making a difference
Although the government has already approved a £10 billion cut in the cost of regulations, there has been such a huge reduction in accidents since the introduction of LOLER & PUWER. Their effectiveness already speaks for themselves. LOLER in particular is essential in helping organisations that carry out lifting operations, to ensure safety procedures are not overlooked.
Recording an organisation's safety procedures
When a breach of either LOLER or PUWER occurs (particularly PUWER), the reporting Health & Safety Executive will ask to see a documented review of an organisation's health and safety assessment. It is essential that your organisation is able to provide these documents. It isn't just a case of stating your machinery meets 'European Standards' either.
Your organisation needs to ensure that any additional precuations to prevent injury were taken. Remember, even if an item carries a CE mark, this doesn't necessarily mean that the machine is safe and compliant with UK regulations.
Are you concenred about the safety procedures within your organisation? Why not enrol on one of our Health & Safety training courses to enhance your knowledge in this field.