Use of Work Equipment Directive

Use of Work Equipment Directive 2009/104/EC concerns the minimum health and safety requirements for the use of work equipment by workers at work.

It places obligations on businesses and employers to take into account potential dangers to operators and other persons using or affected by machines and equipment. It includes confirmation that new, second-hand and existing equipment is safe, suitable for use and fit for the purpose intended and has been correctly installed and is properly used and is properly maintained.

The Use of Work Equipment Directive 2009/104/EC brings together both the earlier Work at Height Directive (2001/45/EC) and the original of the Use of Work Equipment Directive (89/655/EEC) into one consolidated directive  

In general terms, the directive requires that all 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, e.g. protective devices, markings, warnings.

The directive is implemented in the United Kingdom in combination with the Machinery Directive and is applied to industrial users & purchasers of work equipment in the UK under the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 abbreviated to PUWER98.

A copy of the Use of Work Equipment Directive 209/104/EC may be downloaded here.