Machinery compliance: ensuring your safety system is up to spec

Plant Assessor

By Matt Turner, Managing Director, Plant Assessor
Friday, 07 May, 2021


Machinery compliance: ensuring your safety system is up to spec

Safety legislation in Australia means that machinery compliance is a mandatory requirement, and for good reason.

According to Safe Work Australia’s ‘Work-related traumatic injury fatalities, Australia 2019’ report, the breakdown agency of incident — which generally refers to the point at which things started to go wrong and ultimately led to a worker fatality — indicates that mobile plant and transport accounted for more than half (55%) of all workplace fatalities over the last five years and was the highest contributing category. Suffice to say, machinery compliance is a crucial part of workplace safety. On top of this, the consequences of safety breaches come with hefty financial penalties, convictions and reputational damage. So, knowing all this, how exactly do you safeguard yourself, your employees and your company from becoming another grim statistic?

1. Diagnose your current level of compliance

When it comes to machinery compliance what you don’t know can be fatal. In order to gain insight and clarity around your current level of compliance it’s essential that you run regular machinery compliance and safety checks. To assist with this, Plant Assessor has an easy to use self-assessment tool: Machinery Safety System Health Check. Designed to help people who use plant and machinery understand how sound their safety systems are, the Machinery Safety System Health Check covers everything from machinery pre-start checks through to service scheduling, information management, periodic plant inspection, contractor management and operator competency.

2. Find the gaps

Once you have a good understanding of how you’re tracking in terms of your compliance, you’ll then be able to see where your biggest safety gaps are. Additionally, on completion of your self-assessment, you’ll be given an overall score, which will indicate the urgency of which your safety gaps need to be attended to.

3. Implement improvements

Now that you have identified any safety gaps within your processes and systems, you need to address them promptly. Time in the sense of safety and compliance can literally be the difference between life and death. Therefore, if you know you need to make safety improvements to your plant, machinery or processes, carry these out as your highest priority. To make this process as simple and efficient as possible, use purpose-built machinery compliance and risk assessment software tools. Not only will these streamline the work, a lot of this will also provide you with reminders and checks for the future so you won’t fall behind the compliance eight ball again.

4. Ask for help when you need it

There can be no shortcuts when it comes to workplace safety, but this doesn’t mean it has to be an overly time-consuming or complicated process. There are a range of businesses out there that you can go to for advice or to have your machinery compliance assessments managed entirely for you. For example, reputable services teams can travel to you with trained machinery experts, conduct any required risk assessments, photograph and catalogue machinery, supply and fit safety decals, assist you in understanding and managing any outstanding actions and ensure your machinery and equipment meets all your legal compliance obligations.

5. Don’t run the risk

It is an unfortunate fact that all too often in Australia another machinery safety incident is reported that has either caused life-altering injuries or, in the worst case, fatalities. Aside from the devastating personal impacts of these incidents, there can also be significant financial costs along with potential jail time. The time to check how safe your systems are is right now. We urge you to undertake a machinery safety system health check assessment and get a better understanding of your system’s health now, before it’s too late.

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/eric

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