Most work equipment must conform to essential requirements for safety applicable through European product supply law. Such equipment will have a CE mark on the product or its packaging and the supplier should provide a Declaration of Conformity to their buyers. Ask the seller for the declaration and keep this safe, it may need to be referred to if the work equipment is not fit for purpose or becomes faulty.
Some work equipment, that is not powered or used to lift (e.g. hand tools, racking and ladders) does not currently come within the scope of any product safety Directive and so must not be CE marked.
Please note; the CE mark is not a guarantee of safety, only that its design meets European product safety law requirements. CE marks may also be incorrectly applied. Experience has shown that a number of new items that are CE marked have failed portable electrical appliance tests (PAT). Also the CE mark on some equipment is incorrectly applied or the product may be counterfeit (see below). If you have any doubts about the safety of a CE marked product, contact your DHSO or HSAS. If necessary HSAS will refer it to the HSE or Trading Standards for investigation.
Importing work equipment from a Non-EU Country, building or modifying work equipment
CE marking is the responsibility of the person who places the product on the market, or puts it into service, for the first time. In law this duty rests with the Responsible Person, which in most cases is the manufacturer or their representative. It can also include anyone who imports non CE marked products into Europe, those who makes a product for their own use, and those who modify existing products already in use to such an extent they must be considered "new" products.
So, if the University imports directly from a non-EU country, the University would be the Responsible Person and so must check that it meets EU requirements for conformity, CE mark the equipment and provide the Declaration of Conformity. The equipment can be CE marked by the supplier but the University would be responsible for ensuring they did it properly. This applies even if the equipment is for the University’s own use.
If you import, build or modify work equipment you must seek competent advice on CE marking. Please read the HSE guidance on the law on CE Marking and product safety for more information.