Equipment provided for use at work, work equipment, can take many forms. It ranges from fixed and portable work benches, to vehicles and from simple hand operated stapling machines to the most complicated computer controlled equipment and production facilities.

It is important that work equipment is suitable for the task it is purchased to perform and that it meets both the relevant legal standards and the appropriate design and safety standards. In use the work equipment should be used for the purpose for which it was designed and in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.

Current safety, health and welfare legislation imposes a duty on employers to consider the implications for health and safety of every piece of work equipment that they purchase for use in the course of their business. They need to consider its design and construction against minimum legal standards and any national or international design and construction standards. The duty extends to ensuring that the work equipment is properly installed, that users are trained and supervised and that the equipment is inspected and maintained.