There is a broad definition of “plant” under the OHS Act 2004 which can cover hand held power tools, chain saws, workshop equipment, office equipment as well as blenders and coffee grinders. Each plant item presents its own hazards which can include:
- mechanical and moving parts
- crushing or cutting
- fire and explosion
- hot parts of plant
- manual handling
- chemical hazards.
Injuries resulting from incidents involving plant can range from:
- near misses
- small cuts and bruises
- serious injuries such as amputations, scalping, de-gloving and fatalities.
Relevant sections of the OHSMS
Where/when would these issues be relevant?
Some examples of plant and equipment within the Department's workplaces include:
- technology areas will have workshop equipment such as lathes, drill presses and band saws
- hand tools and power tools
- office equipment
- lifts and cooling towers
- pressure vessels
- gas cylinders
- mowers and brush cutters
- forklifts and pallet jacks
- ovens and kilns
What do you need to do?
- Consult with Health and Safety Representatives (HSR) and employees about the tasks and environments where plant is used that requires supervision
- Conduct a risk assessment to identify hazards and assess risks associated with plant items at the workplace
- Develop and implement controls to eliminate or reduce the risks in accordance with the hierarchy of control
- Develop pre-start checklists for high risk plant
- Consider lockout/tag out requirements for plant and implement lock out/tag out procedures
- Develop safe work procedures for tasks involving hazardous plant
- Train and assess employees and students as competent in these procedures
- Establish and implement a maintenance program for plant including inspection, maintenance and cleaning
- Monitor the practices of employees and students to ensure that they are working safely.
Legislation, guidance and Codes of Practice
Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004
Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2017
OHS Advisory Service on ph. 1300 074 715 or email
WorkSafe Victoria - Plant: Safety basics and further information