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(This note is not part of the Regulations)
1. These Regulations impose health and safety requirements with respect to the provision and use of work equipment, which is defined in regulation 2. Existing provisions which are replaced by these Regulations are repealed or revoked (Schedule 2).
2. The Regulations give effect as respects Great Britain to Council Directive 89/655/EEC (OJ No. L393, 30.12.89, p.13) on the minimum safety and health requirements for the use of work equipment by workers at work (“the Directive”) with the exception of the following matters:–
(a)the Regulations do not extend to sea transport (regulation 3);
(b)a general requirement to ensure that work equipment may be used without impairment to safety or health (Article 3.1 of the Directive);
(c)a general requirement to minimise risks where they cannot be eliminated (Article 3.2 of the Directive);
(d)a requirement for containment or extraction devices in certain cases (point 2.5, second indent of the Annex to the Directive);
(e)a requirement for safe means of access to and safe places of work (point 2.16 of the Annex to the Directive);
(f)protection from electrical risks (point 2.19 of the Annex to the Directive).
3. The Regulations impose requirements upon employers in respect of work equipment provided for or used by their employees at work. The requirements are also applied to self-employed persons and persons in control of specified premises in the circumstances set out in regulation 4.
4. The Regulations make provision with respect to:–
(a)the suitability of work equipment (regulation 5);
(b)the maintenance of work equipment and keeping up to date of any maintenance log (regulation 6);
(c)steps to be taken where the use of work equipment is likely to involve a specific risk to health or safety (regulation 7);
(d)information, instruction and training for persons who use work equipment and certain other employees (regulations 8 and 9);
(e)conformity with European Community requirements (regulation 10 and Schedule 1);
(f)the protection of persons from dangerous parts of machinery and rotating stock-bars (regulation 11);
(g)the prevention or control of exposure of any person to any risk caused by certain specified hazards (regulation 12);
(h)protection from high or very low temperature (regulation 13);
(i)controls (including emergency and other stop controls) and control systems (regulations 14 to 18);
(j)the isolation of work equipment from sources of energy (regulation 19);
(k)the stability of work equipment (regulation 20);
(l)lighting at any place where work equipment is used (regulation 21);
(m)taking measures to ensure that work equipment is so constructed or adapted that maintenance operations can be carried out in specified ways (regulation 22);
(n)appropriate markings, warnings, or warning devices (regulations 23 and 24).
5. The Secretary of State for Defence may grant exemptions from the Regulations in the interests of national security (regulation 25).
6. The Regulations extend to and in relation to certain premises and activities outside Great Britain (regulation 26).
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