The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1999 (PUWER)

The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1999 (PUWER) place a duty on employers to protect employees safety through the proper selection and use of work equipment.

Risks from equipment

The risks to people’s health and safety, from equipment that they use at work, must be prevented or controlled.

Any equipment which is used by an employee at work is covered, for example hammers, knives, ladders, drilling machines, power presses, circular saws, photocopiers, lifting equipment (including lifts), dumper trucks and motor vehicles. Similarly, if you allow employees to provide their own equipment, it too will be covered by PUWER and you will need to make sure it complies.


In general terms, the regulations require that equipment provided for use at work is:

  • suitable for the intended use
  • safe for use, maintained in a safe condition and, in certain circumstances, inspected to ensure this remains the case
  • used only by people who have received adequate information, instruction and training
  • accompanied by suitable safety measures, eg protective devices, markings, warnings

If you are an employer or self employed person and you provide equipment for use at work, or if you have control of the use of work equipment, then the regulations will apply to you.


You must ensure that the work equipment you provide meets the requirements of PUWER. In doing so, you should ensure that it is:

  • suitable for use, and for the purpose and conditions in which it is used
  • maintained in a safe condition for use so that people’s health and safety is not at risk
  • inspected in certain circumstances to ensure that it is, and continues to be, safe for use - any inspection should be carried out by a competent person (this could be an employee if they have the necessary competence to perform the task) and a record kept until the next inspection


Key legislation

Please note that these links are to the original legislation, visitors should verify for themselves whether legislation is in force or whether it has been amended or repealed by subsequent legislation.