Use reel handling equipment

Business Sectors (Suites): Machine Printing
Developed by: Improve
Approved on: 29 Feb 2020


This standard is for people who use reel handling equipment on web printing machines.

Reel handling equipment on a large web-offset press is often complex machinery designed to allow continuous high speed running of the press. In order to achieve a seamless switch from one reel to the next, the reels must be carefully and skilfully prepared.

Bringing reels to the machine and loading them also requires a high level of skill and knowledge, not least because a large reel of paper can weigh hundreds of kilos; so an accident with a reel can be extremely serious.

This standard requires you to understand the operation and risks associated with reel handling and reel handling equipment on printing machines, to be able to prepare and operate reel handling equipment safely and to check that the equipment is ready to supply paper to the press when required.

Performance criteria

You must be able to:

Set up reel handling equipment

  1. comply with health and safety requirements and procedures at all times
  2. obtain specifications and requirements of the items to be produced following standard operating procedures
  3. obtain equipment and materials required to carry out the job following standard operating procedures
  4. check equipment is set up and in good working order following standard operating procedures and any manufacturer's instructions
  5. check all materials required are to specification and free from faults
  6. check you have enough reels to meet specifications
  7. prepare reel handling equipment and reels are selected and held to meet specifications
  8. identify and correct mechanical faults which it is your job to correct
  9. report any mechanical faults which are not your job to correct
    Operate reel handling equipment safely

10. keep up the supply of reels throughout following standard operating procedures
11. replace reels without damage to the reel or machines following standard operating procedures
12. identify the cause of problems following standard operating procedures
13. identify and correct mechanical faults which it is your job to deal with
14. report mechanical faults which it is not your job to correct
15. co-operate with colleagues who are responsible for correcting faults
16. check equipment is safe to operate, once faults are corrected

Knowledge and Understanding

You need to know and understand:

Health and Safety

  1. your duties and responsibilities for health and safety as defined by any specific legislation covering your job role
  2. manufacturer's health and safety requirements relevant to your job
  3. how to stop a machine in the event of an emergency

4. how to communicate with colleagues

Workplace policy and practice

5. workplace objectives, priorities, standards and procedures

Time and Resources

6. how to maximise productivity

The operation of equipment

7. the risks associated with preparing and operating reel handling equipment and how to avoid them
8. the common reel handling faults, what causes them and how to correct them

The causes and treatment of common faults

9. raw material faults
10. machine faults

Administrative procedures

11. recording and reporting
12. product labelling


13. any specific environmental legislation that covers processes in your company
14. control of pollution

Problem Solving

15. sources of information
16. techniques for assessing machine faults


17. the types and characteristics of paper, board and other commonly used substrates
18. how to maintain the quality of materials during storage and handling


Scope Performance

Scope Knowledge





Links To Other NOS

External Links

Version Number


Indicative Review Date

28 Feb 2025





Originating Organisation


Original URN


Relevant Occupations

Printers, Printing Machine Minders and Assistants, Printing Trades

SOC Code



machines; printing; lithographic; equipment; flexographic; operate; maintain; inks; coatings;