Codes of Practice & Legislation
BS4163:2021 is the code of practice that provides guidance for people responsible for planning services, equipment and machinery, and for anyone who may use these in design and technology facilities in schools and similar establishments. The latest release of the Code of Practice was published on 31st October 2021, and superseded the earlier 2007 edition of the document. The recommendations cover supply and safe use of equipment, machine tools, materials and chemicals, personal protection, and safety management, with particular reference to the hazards involved.
It is not a legal requirement to adhere to the guidelines set forth in this code of practice, but it does provide one means of demonstrating that reasonably practicable steps have been taken to minimize the risk of injury from the machinery, equipment, processes and materials used.
HME always adhere to the guidelines laid out in BS4163:2021 during design and installation procedures, ensuring that our solutions are always as safe as possible.
Provision & Use of Work Equipment Regulations
WHAT IS PUWER?
PUWER replaces the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1992 and carries forward these existing requirements with a few changes and additions, for example the inspection of work equipment and specific new requirements for mobile work equipment. Many aspects of PUWER should therefore be familiar to you.
The Regulations require risks to people’s health and safety, from equipment that they use at work, to be prevented or controlled. In addition to the requirements of PUWER, lifting equipment is also subject to the requirements of the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998.
Unlike BS4163:2021 and BB81, PUWER is a lawful regulation, as opposed to a standard Code of Practice, and as such must be adhered to at all times.
WHAT DOES PUWER DO?
In general terms, the Provision & Use of Work Equipment 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; and
- accompanied by suitable safety measures, eg protective devices, markings, warnings.
WHAT EQUIPMENT IS COVERED BY THE REGULATIONS?
Generally, 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.
Building Bulletin 81
Building Bulletin 81 offers guidance to anyone involved with the briefing and design processes for design and technology accommodation. It is aimed at teachers, governors, local education authority advisers and building professionals, and is relevant to both new construction and the adaptation of existing buildings.
There are some key planning issues which relate to all machines regardless of their function:
- The floor in the area where the machine is sited should be level, nonslip and well maintained.
- Machines should be positioned in one long run as far as possible, to give the teacher a single sight line for supervision.
- Machines should be situated in good natural light – particularly important for precision machines.
- Consideration must be given to the most appropriate machines to position adjacent to fire exits; those which do not require large pieces of material to be clamped to them will not block exits in an emergency.
- Positioning machines against a circulation route (a route between the machines and multi-benches for example, as in Figure 5.1) allows the operator the greatest distance to move away from an accident. Allowing circulation behind the machines does, however, require good workshop management and teachers may choose to make pupils aware of safe workshop practice by marking out the circulation route using chevron tape.
- Wherever possible multi-benches rather than design tables should be put next to machinery runs. Pupils doing similar work on multibenches are less likely to distract pupils using machines, and benches provide useful supplementary work surface for machine operators.
- There should be sufficient space around any machine to allow safe use of the machine and to prevent the operator from being accidentally pushed by passers-by.
HME always adhere to the guidelines laid out in BS2021 during design and installation procedures, ensuring that our solutions are always as safe as possible.