"Every employer shall ensure that work equipment is maintained in an efficient state, in efficient working order and in good repair. All systems at all times be of such construction as to prevent, so far as reasonably practical, such danger. As may be necessary to prevent danger, all systems shall be maintained so as to prevent, so far a reasonably practical, such danger."
The Provision And Use Of Work Equipment Regulations (PUWER) 1998 covers most risks that can result from using work equipment.
With respect to risks from electricity, compliance with the Electricity At Work (EAW) Regulations 1989 is likely to achieve compliance with PUWER 1998.
PUWER only applies to work equipment used by workers at work. This includes all work equipment (Fixed, Transportable or Portable) connected to a source of electrical energy.
PUWER does not apply to fixed installations in a building. The electrical safety of these installations is dealt with only by the Electricity at Work Regulations.
The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 define “Electrical Equipment” as including “anything used, intended to be used or installed for use, to generate, provide, transmit, transform, rectify, covert, distribute, control, store, measure or use electrical energy.”
It is clear that the combination of the HSW (Health and Safety at Work) Act 1974, the PUWER 1998 and the EAW Regulations 1989 apply to all electrical equipment used in, or associated with, places of work.
The scope extends from distribution systems down to the smallest piece of electrical equipment. It is clear that there is a requirement to inspect and test all types of electrical equipment in all work situations.
All businesses need to comply to The Health and Safety Act 1974, the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 and the IEE Wiring Regulations 17th Edition including The Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 for Landlords and Lettings Agents. These regulations stipulate that every business has a legal obligation to carry out regular periodic inspections of their electrical installations. The new Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) replaces the previous Periodic Inspection Report (PIR). Any infraction can lead to penalties and/or prosecution.