PUWER regulations & bandsaw guarding requirements in 2022.

The introduction of Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER) saw a big shift in the way manufacturing factories, workshops and plants operated. New guidance was set out in PUWER part II regulation 11 (2) specifying the provision of guarding to safe-guard every moving part of high-risk machinery, including bandsaws, protecting machine operators. These regulations also require assessments to be carried out at various points during the lifecycle of high-risk machinery to ensure compliance with PUWER and in turn, The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999. Be warned, PUWER breaches can result in heavy fines, criminal charges, and even imprisonment.


Let’s talk about bandsaw guarding

In what is being regarded as a game-changing move, some manufacturers are now producing sawing machines with built-in and complete guards, or more commonly known as fully enclosed bandsaws to comply with safety requirements further afield. These enclosed bandsaws mark a new era of operator safety and ease of use. Traditionally, experienced and highly trained engineers were required to work with and operate high-risk machinery but now these industrial saws are completely enclosed and mostly operated by touch-screen with easy-to-program and in some cases, pre-programmed cutting processes. This means less time training and a much larger pool of machine operators to employ from, all while ensuring their safety.

Old style bandsaw guard
Basic retrofitted guard only covering very front of the saw.
Guarded VS enclosed sawing machinery

Many of the original guarded bandsaws were known for access issues when general maintenance or saw servicing was required. They do an excellent job of keeping exposed parts of people away from the moving parts of the machine – which is exactly what they are meant to do, but that wasn’t always practical in a busy workshop when a saw blade breaks. This is where the next gen guarded and enclosed saws come into their own.


Fully Enclosed Bandsaw – The XT from IMET SAWS

Machines like the Imet XT range are completely enclosed in what is effectively a very functional metal box, providing a built-in horizontal bandsaw guard while allowing full access through lockable panels at the back and sides of the machine. Easy and complete access when needed, built-in safety when in use – and as a failsafe, these machines are fitting with trigger mechanisms set to cut off machine operation should a door not be properly closed. Not only is the XT incredible safe to use, it’s one of the simplest fully automatic bandsaw to operate with an extensive pre-programmed material library and automatic reporting. We think it looks pretty great too.

Imet XT5 automatic bandsaw


Regulation compliance is incredibly important to businesses, staff, and the industry in general. Complying with PUWER II regulation 11 in a complete and manageable way is now easier than ever with the new generation IMET guarded bandsaws. We here at Addison expect many manufacturers will be adopting built-in bandsaw guarding as standard in the coming years – focusing on guarded horizontal bandsaws to provide next-level user safety without compromising on machine and cut quality. Getting ahead of the game when it comes to health and safety can only be a good thing.

If you want to see what the future of sawing machinery looks like, we currently have an XT5 in our Stourbridge showroom available for demos – give us a call on 01384 264 950 or contact us through our web form.