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The Health and Safety at Work Act of 1974, the umbrella. Underneath the umbrella, we have the regulations. The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations of 1998, and Lifting Operating Lifting Equipment Regulations '98, both of which is for equipment. We will talk about LOLER first.
LOLER is the few key points within the LOLER regulations, and first of all, what it states is that the employer should provide equipment. The equipment should be safe to use. It should be in good working order. The equipment should... In where we are talking about hoists and people moving hoists, this equipment should be inspected every six months and inspected consequently every time it is used, really, so the carers would need to be trained in using that particular piece of equipment. Part of the LOLER check is an engineer will come in and they will inspect the hoist. But they will not only inspect the hoist, but they will also inspect the slings. Once they have inspected it, and they have deemed it to be safe, they will put a sticker on the hoist, and the sticker will say when the hoist was first inspected when it was inspected, and when the next inspection is, and that will be six months time. They do also give a certificate as well, which can be filed. If there is no sticker on the hoist, sometimes that tends to happen, it should not really be used unless you see the certificate. You have to have either the certificate or both or the sticker as well. If we use the hoist without either, we will be breaking LOLER, the regulations of LOLER.
The next regulation that I would like to talk about is PUWER, the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations, which came out in 1998, and that is really all about the provision, the providing. Again, where an employee is being assessed and needs a particular piece of equipment, what PUWER says is that this equipment should be provided. Now, this is not just lifting equipment; this is all equipment that a worker will use. Within manual handling, that would include slide sheets, belts, slings, standing aids, rotators. Anything like that, all comes under PUWER, and it all has to be safe to use.
Under PUWER, it also says that you need to be trained in how to use the equipment. It also says that you need to have written instructions. The written instructions need to be provided and easy to get at. One of the most important things that PUWER states as well is regarding how the equipment is used. And sometimes, we abuse certain pieces of equipment, or we do not use it in the right context. For instance, we would not really use a chair at work to change a light bulb because a chair is to sit on, yes? One of the things that you sometimes see is nurses and carers using a bed sheet to reposition a patient in the bed. They should be using slide sheets for that particular job. Under PUWER, you should only use equipment which has been manufactured for that particular job.