Workplace equipment

In all types of commercial premises there are many different types of workplace equipment which can be easily be taken for granted.  Employers must ensure the safe use of all equipment, including when starting, stopping, installing, dismantling, programming, setting, transporting, maintaining, servicing and cleaning. Employers must also ensure that manufacturers' instructions, are always followed and employees are suitably trained in the correct use of workplace equipment.

Employees who have not been trained to use a piece of equipment or to repair it must not use it or attempt to repair it.  Employees should report all faults to a supervisor or manager and inform colleagues that the equipment is out of action.

Legislation and Guidance

Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations and Approved Code of Practice L22 (4th edition)  

The Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992 and Work with Display Screen Equipment Guidance

Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 and Approved Code of Practice L24 (2nd edition) 

Simple guide to the provision and use of work equipment regulations 1998 [PDF file]

Workplace Health Safety And Welfare Workplace Health Safety And Welfare : a short guide for managers [PDF file]

Examples of equipment used at work

  • visual display units and display screens
  • abrasive wheels
  • forklift trucks
  • lifts, hoists, escalators
  • stapling machines
  • hand tools
  • feed slicers, mixers, dough brakes
  • conveyor belts
  • photocopiers
  • paint sprayers


Equipment safety

All equipment must have:

  • safety signs and warning hazards
  • clearly marked isolator switches
  • guards and fencing fitted if there are moving parts
  • properly maintained service records


  • all employees must receive training before using any item of equipment and undergo programme refresher training on a regular basis
  • employees must wear personal protective equipment such as goggles and gloves where identified in the risk assessments and manufacturers' instructions
  • guards and fencing must be used if provided by the manufacturer
  • under 18 year olds must not use any prescribed dangerous machine

Last updated: 29 November 2019