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HSE warning to mind your plant language

IMPORTERS and users of plant imported from South East Asia have been warned to ensure that their machines have signs and instructions in English or face fines, having the equipment impounded or prosecution in the courts.

In an open letter to the industry Stuart Bullock, head of the Health and Safety Executive's Machinery Policy Branch, warned that importers of grey plant who do not have their machines CE-marked by the manufacturer needed to ensure they complied with a number of factors, including correct signage.

He said 'It is not legally acceptable to have warnings or other signs and instructions written in a foreign language if the machine is for use in this country.'

Another item of importance is compilation of a technical file - an exhaustive document containing all the machine's specifications and test data. 'Producing a technical file can be time-consuming and expensive, but to comply with the law it has to be done before the machine can be placed on the market,' said Mr Bullock.