Enhancing Machinery Safety Through Effective Procurement Training

Ensuring machinery safety and compliance is a critical aspect for any manufacturer. At Knox Thomas, we specialize in supporting our clients with CE marking, UKCA marking, and PUWER compliance. One key area that often goes overlooked, yet plays a crucial role in machinery safety and compliance, is the procurement department. In this article, we highlight the importance of procurement training in enhancing machinery safety and ensuring compliance with regulatory standards.

The Importance of Procurement in Machinery Safety

For end users of machinery, complying with the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER) is mandatory. According to PUWER Regulation 10, machinery must comply with marketplace legislation, which, in the EU and UK, translates to CE and UKCA marking respectively. This requirement aligns with the Machinery Directive and the Supply of Machinery (Safety) Regulations. When manufacturers or end users procure machinery that is correctly marked with CE or UKCA, it ensures that the machinery is compliant with PUWER Regulation 10.

Benefits of Properly Marked Machinery

The primary benefit of procuring CE or UKCA marked machinery is that it guarantees the machinery meets essential safety standards. This compliance inherently ensures the safeguarding of the machinery, satisfying all PUWER regulations related to physical controls regarding machinery safety. Consequently, this saves Health, Safety, Quality, and Environment (HSQE) managers and their teams considerable time during PUWER assessments. The need for corrective actions or the implementation of additional safety measures and controls is significantly reduced or eliminated. More importantly, compliant machinery reduces the risk of accidents and injuries, thereby fostering a safer workplace environment.

The Role of Procurement Training

Awareness training within the procurement team is vital for ensuring machinery compliance. For instance, training procurement staff to correctly understand a Declaration of Conformity and identify any discrepancies can significantly enhance the compliance assurance of machinery. This knowledge helps prevent non-compliant machinery from being procured and installed, which in turn avoids subsequent safety issues and the need for costly rectifications. A well-informed procurement team can also negotiate better terms and conditions with suppliers, ensuring that the machinery purchased not only meets compliance standards but also aligns with the company’s safety protocols and operational needs.

Factory Acceptance Inspections

For larger machinery, it is highly recommended that an inspection is conducted before factory acceptance to ensure compliance with applicable legislation. This proactive approach can save time and resources by identifying and addressing compliance issues before the machinery is installed. Such inspections ensure that machinery is safe and compliant right from the outset, preventing the need for extensive health and safety inspections and rectification work post-installation. Additionally, involving third-party experts in these inspections can provide an unbiased assessment, further ensuring that all safety and compliance aspects are thoroughly covered.

Strategic Training Over Extensive Programs

While health and safety training is frequently requested by manufacturers, it is crucial to assess the ultimate goals of such training. In many cases, awareness training for procurement teams can be more impactful than extensive training for a few health and safety staff members. By equipping procurement personnel with the knowledge to ensure machinery compliance from the start, organizations can achieve a higher level of overall safety and compliance with less effort and resources. This strategic approach not only enhances compliance but also contributes to a culture of safety within the organization, where every department understands its role in maintaining high safety standards.


At Knox Thomas, we understand the complexities of market and in-service legislation for machinery safety and compliance. Our consultancy services include assessing machinery for compliance, providing non-compliance reports, and offering targeted training programs. Proper procurement training is a vital component in ensuring machinery safety and regulatory compliance. By investing in the right training for your procurement team, you can safeguard your operations, save valuable time and resources, and maintain high standards of safety and compliance.

For more information on our services and how we can support your machinery safety and compliance needs, contact Knox Thomas today. Let us help you navigate the complexities of market legislation and ensure the safety and compliance of your machinery from procurement to operation. Our expertise and comprehensive approach will empower your team to make informed decisions, enhancing safety and compliance across your organization.

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