Latest update: 11/08/2021

Directive 2009/104/EC – use of work equipment

The Directive lays down minimum health and safety requirements for the use of work equipment in the workplace.

Directive 2009/104/EC of 16 September 2009 concerning the minimum safety and health requirements for the use of work equipment by workers at work is a single directive within the scope of the OSH Framework Directive. The Directive codifies and repeals Directive 89/655/EEC which had been substantially amended several times.

This Directive contains minimum safety and health requirements for the use of work equipment by workers at work in general and specific, more detailed requirements relating to work equipment for working at height, mobile work equipment and equipment for lifting loads.

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 equipment.

Annex I - Minimum requirements
Annex II - Provisions concerning the use of work equipment
Annex III - List of time limits for transposition into national law
Annex IV - Correlation table with Directive 89/655/EEC

Read the full text of Directive 2009/104/EC

National laws implementing this Directive

Further information