Safety of workplace machinery, equipment and tools

Types of work equipment in safety law


Employers must ensure that all work equipment is safe and doesn't pose a hazard or risk to employee health. 

Workplace equipment in industry sectors

Many industry sectors use workplace equipment. This includes those using heavy machinery, such as:

  • manufacturing
  • agriculture
  • construction
  • forestry
  • quarries

The rules also apply to all other workplaces, such as:

  • offices
  • shops
  • hotels
  • engineering businesses 
  • car repair services

Employers must ensure that those using equipment have enough knowledge and training to use it safely.

Examples of workplace equipment 

The regulations cover many types of equipment, including:

  • manufacturing - including welding tools, production lines, furnaces, machine tools, circular saws, power presses and lifting equipment
  • building and construction - items such as hand-held power tools, ladders, hammers, drills, knives and screwdrivers
  • offices - items such as computers and photocopiers
  • workplace and off-road vehicles - including dumper and forklift trucks, tractors, rail and road haulage vehicles

Equipment with moving parts and some kind of drive unit is normally known as machinery. Download buying new machinery guidance (PDF, 110K).