Mobile plant safety under scrutiny

By Michael Selinger on June 1st, 2017

If your organisation uses mobile plant, then the regulators are out to check that you are using them safely.

Recently, WorkSafe Victoria announced that it was targeting poor safety around mobile plant as part of a new campaign to reduce fatalities and injuries on construction sites. Inspectors will be checking that proper systems of work are in place for machines such as front-end loaders, elevated work platforms, forklifts, skid steer loaders, concrete trucks and other types of powered mobile plant.

And Victoria is not alone. Other jurisdictions have also upped the ante in terms of the commitment to be made by businesses to ensure safety of their workers. SafeWork NSW has launched the Safety Promise, a program designed to promote safety by requesting your organisation to publicly commit to safety. You can make your safety promise at:

Safety campaign

The online tool is part of the NSW Government’s ‘Safety starts with you’ campaign that aims to help employers safeguard their workplaces. By publishing these commitments online, it is hoped to encourage businesses to remain accountable to their workers, customers and the community.

Mobile plant still remains one of the areas of concern, being the cause of a large number of fatalities and serious injuries. As the Executive Director of WorkSafe Victoria said: “It is critical that employers outline to workers the work that needs to be done, the potential risks involved, and identify how the risks must be controlled. Appropriate training and clear exclusion zones are essential, because pedestrians and powered mobile machinery simply do not mix.”

Other safety measures suggested by WorkSafe include:

  • operators being appropriately trained and competent;
  • ensuring that machinery is regularly inspected and maintained;
  • ensuring any traffic management plan is reviewed and updated with any changes at the workplace;
  • separating members of the public from powered machinery and vehicles;
  • putting in place appropriate signage and erecting barriers where appropriate; and
  • identifying and controlling visibility issues, particularly if lighting is poor.

PS: Need more help putting this advice into action? Then the Portner Press Health & Safety Handbook is the just the tool you need – it even has its own chapter on plant safety (just one of 70-plus chapters on workplace health and safety).

The Handbook is written in plain English by the health and safety experts at Holding Redlich, so you know you can trust the information on every page, which includes downloadable and editable templates and checklists, as well as tips, hints and cautionary case laws.

Don’t delay, get your business ready for any surprise visit by the regulator by ordering your copy of the Health & Safety Handbook on an obligation-free trial. What could be easier?

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