Latest update: 11/08/2021

Directive 2009/104/EC – use of work equipment

of 16 September 2009 concerning the minimum safety and health requirements for the use of work equipment by workers at work (second individual Directive within the meaning of Article 16(1) of Directive 89/391/EEC)

After numerous amendments, in the interests of clarity and rationality this new Directive on the use of work equipment was adopted and the previous directives 89/655/EEC and its amendments were repealed. References to the repealed Directive shall be construed as references to this Directive.


This Directive lays down minimum safety and health requirements for the use of work equipment by workers at work.


Definition of terms “work equipment”, “use of work equipment”, “danger zone”, “exposed worker” and “operator”.


Employers’ obligations

The employer shall take every measure to ensure the safety of the work equipment made available to workers. During the selection of the work equipment the employer shall pay attention to the specific working conditions which exist at the workplace, especially in relation of safety and health of the workers. If risks cannot be fully eliminated during the operation of the work equipment, the employer shall take appropriate measures to minimise them. Furthermore, the work equipment should comply with relevant Community directives and/or the minimum requirements laid down in Annex I.

Throughout its working life, the employer shall keep the work equipment compliant by means of adequate maintenance. The employer shall ensure that the work equipment is installed correctly and is operating properly by inspection/testing of the work equipment (initial, after assembly, periodic and special) by competent persons. The results of inspections shall be recorded and kept.

If the use of work equipment is likely to involve a specific risk the employer shall ensure restricted access to its use, and allows of any modification by expert personnel only. Ergonomics and occupational health aspects shall be taken fully into account by the employer.

The employer shall provide workers with adequate, comprehensible information (e.g. written instructions) on the work equipment, detailing: the conditions of use, foreseeable abnormal situations, any additional conclusion drawn from experience. Workers shall be made aware of dangers relevant to them. The employer shall ensure that workers receive adequate training, including risks and specific training on specific-risk equipments.


Annex I - Minimum requirements
1. General comment
2. General minimum requirements applicable to work equipment
3. Additional minimum requirements applicable to specific types of work equipment

Annex II - Provisions concerning the use of work equipment
1. General provisions for all work equipment
2. Provisions concerning the use of mobile equipment, whether or not self-propelled
3. Provisions concerning the use of work equipment for lifting loads
4. Provisions concerning the use of work equipment provided for temporary work at a height

Annex III
Repealed Directive with its successive amendments
List of time limits for transposition into national law

Annex IV - Correlation table

Read the full text of this Directive

National laws implementing this Directive

See also further documents of the European Commission on that topic:

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of Regions on the practical implementation of the provisions of the Health and Safety at Work Directives 89/391 (Framework), 89/654 (Workplaces), 89/655 (Work Equipment), 89/656 (Personal Protective Equipment), 90/269 (Manual Handling of Loads) and 90/270 (Display Screen Equipment)

Evaluation of the Practical Implementation of the EU Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Directives in EU Member States - Directive concerning the minimum safety and health requirements for the use of work equipment by workers at work (2017)

See also the guide for examiners of the Senior Labour Inspectors Committee:

Non binding guidance to ensure a minimum standard of competence of persons who carry out examinations of tower and mobile cranes