Engineering can be a fairly hazardous job. So, as you can imagine, there are a lot of regulations concerning engineering in the UK. 

In this guide, we’ll outline the most important UK regulations that engineers should know about, especially those who own their own businesses. 

Specifically, we’ll be talking about these regulations:

  • Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 (HASAWA)
  • Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999
  • Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 (LOLER)
  • Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER)
  • Pressure Systems Safety Regulations 2000 (PSSR)
  • Supply of Machinery (Safety) Regulations 2008
  • Electricity at Work Regulations 1989

Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 (HASAWA)

The HASAWA is the main piece of legislation that covers UK health and safety practices in the workplace. 

The legislation lays out certain duties for employers and employees. Specifically, it covers the duties that:

  • Employers have towards employees and the public. 
  • Employees have to themselves and one another.
  • Self-employed workers have towards themselves and one another. 

The HASAWA is enforced by the Health and Safety Executive and individual local authorities.

The legislation itself requires all workplaces to have:

  • Adequate training to ensure all staff understand and follow health and safety procedures.
  • Adequate welfare provisions for staff at work.
  • A safe working environment that is properly maintained.
  • Relevant information, instruction, and supervision regarding health and safety.

Employers need to keep a written record of their health and safety policy for workplaces with five or more employees. It’s also their duty to keep staff updated on policies and arrangements related to health and safety. 

Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999

Building on the rules set out by the HASAWA, these 1999 regulations for into more detail about the specific actions employers need to take to manage health and safety.

The regulation mainly concerns risk assessment. All employers must carry out in-depth risk assessments of their workplace and provide:

  • Information about the risks in the workplace.
  • Information about how employees are protected. 
  • Training for employees on how to deal with risks.

Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 (LOLER)

LOLER regulations are all about safety when using lifting equipment, which is a normal activity for engineers. It applies to all businesses and organisations whose employees use lifting equipment, even if they don’t actually own the equipment.

In a nutshell, LOLER says that all lifting equipment is thoroughly tested and fit for purpose, and all activities using that equipment are properly planned, supervised, and carried out in a safe manner. 

Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER)

Similar to the LOLER, but referring to equipment more broadly, the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations requires that all equipment in the workplace is:

  • Suitable for the intended use. 
  • Maintained and inspected regularly. 
  • Correctly installed.  
  • Only used by people with the right information, instruction, and training. 
  • Accompanied by suitable health and safety measures (protective devices, controls, emergency stops, warning devices, and clearly visible markings).

Pressure Systems Safety Regulations 2000 (PSSR)

Pressure systems in engineering usually refer to pipework and any devices connected to it.

The Pressure Systems Safety Regulations concerns the safe design and use of pressure systems. The main goal of the regulations is to prevent serious injury due to the failure of a pressure system or one of its component parts.

PSSR is relevant to owners, competent persons, designers, manufacturers, importers, suppliers, and installers of pressure systems used in the workplace.

The regulation states that all pressure systems need a suitable Written Scheme of Examination before they’re operated. 

Control of Substances Hazardous to Health 2002 (COSHH)

COSHH tries to prevent health problems caused by substances that are hazardous to health. It usually refers to harmful chemical substances, substances that are common in construction and engineering. 

The best-known control measure for COSHH is the use of ventilation systems when using potentially harmful chemical substances. 

Supply of Machinery (Safety) Regulations 2008

All new machinery sold or used in the UK is covered by Supply of Machinery Regulations 2008.

The main requirement under the regulation is that manufacturers produce machinery that’s safe for use. Machinery is defined as:

  • Any machinery that is powered other than by manual effort, 
  • Safety components. 
  • Components that only work when attached to a machine, 
  • Lifting equipment and accessories. 
  • Chains, ropes and webbing.

To comply with the regulations, manufacturers need to make sure that all their machinery is properly assessed. Machinery that’s been properly tested will have a Declaration of Conformity and a CE marking.

Electricity at Work Regulations 1989

These regulations aim to prevent danger from any electrical systems and equipment that are manufactured, purchased, installed by a business. It places responsibility on employers, employees, and the self-employed. 

Under regulations, electrical systems must be:

  • Constructed in a way that prevents danger.
  • Maintained as necessary to prevent danger (including a five year fixed installation inspection).
  • Used in a way that prevents danger.

Employees should only use electrical equipment if they have the correct training, knowledge, experience, and supervision. 

Financial regulations

Safety regulations are a top priority for engineers, but financial regulations are also relevant. 

Business owners need to keep records of company accounts to pay taxes. Limited companies must also submit their financial records to Companies House and HMRC every year. 

To stay compliant with government regulations, accurate bookkeeping is essential. And keeping records can be time-consuming and tedious, but it’s much simpler with Countingup. 

Countingup is the business current account with built-in accounting software that allows you to manage all your financial data in one place. With features like automatic expense categorisation, invoicing on the go, receipt capture tools, tax estimates, and cash flow insights, you can confidently keep on top of your business finances wherever you are. 

You can also share your bookkeeping with your accountant instantly without worrying about duplication errors, data lags or inaccuracies. Seamless, simple, and straightforward! 

Find out more here.