Our clients include machinery suppliers & users, plus those who manage contractors using machinery
Have a look at some of the industry segments that we focus on..
“Prior to using Plant Assessor, we had struggled with several risk assessment templates. One of our suppliers suggested that Plant Assessor was an effective program for developing detailed risk assessments that were recognised by blue chip clients.
After a brief online demonstration, we were convinced of Plant Assessor’s quality and ease of use. In particular the two step process of inspection and corrective action lends itself to the practical development of risk assessments for plant in remote locations.”
Mick Carr, Plant Maintenance Superintendent – Ertech
Exact Contracting Group is a privately owned mining & civil services business based in Adelaide with active operations at 12 locations across South Australia, Northern Territory, Victoria and New South Wales and a client list that boasts many of the key mining operators in Australia including BHPB, WPG Resources, CU River Mining and Iluka Resources.
Trading since 1987 and with a staff of over 560, Exact Contracting Group is highly regarded for its work in open pit mining, quarry management, drill and blast, crushing and screening, bulk earthworks, ore handling, road construction, concrete, shotcrete, tailings dam construction and maintenance, minerals haulage, overburden removal, civil works, irrigation and site rehabilitation.
The business owns and operates a considerable fleet that includes almost 600 items of heavy plant which is a diverse mix of typical construction vehicles such as excavators, graders, dump trucks, scrapers, agitator trucks, loaders, pneumatic tankers, side tippers and telehandlers.
All vehicles and equipment are serviced by a highly trained and skilled maintenance team, incorporating a preventative program, which results in minimal downtime and maximum production.
Managing operator and site based safety across any eet has its challenges, especially one that includes such a wide range of plant & equipment located on multiple sites and sometimes hired out to other contractors under both wet and dry hire conditions.
“We were very keen to adopt a consistent approach to plant risk assessments,” explains National Safety, Training & Quality Manager for the Exact Contracting Group, Jeff Rotman.
“We had a process of undertaking manual assessments on a standard risk assessment template that was time consuming and cumbersome. There was some copy and paste happening and the forms were difficult to manage.”
“We wanted to bring a little more discipline into the process and make users more accountable for their assessments. This meant looking for a product that was detailed yet simple enough for anyone to access and use on a day-to-day basis.”
“A new project came online in 2012 that allowed us to conduct a trial of Plant Assessor. We trained some of our team and monitored the activity for six months to determine its value to our business,” explains Jeff Rotman.
“We were suitably pleased with the usability, accessibility, convenience and accuracy and Exact Contracting Group started using the Plant Assessor platform across the business in May 2013.”
The ability to customise assessments and reports, easily add machines, access historical information and view reports in real time impressed Jeff and his team.
“We were able to incorporate our existing core questions to form a baseline assessment then ask the assessor for additional information once they complete a more in-depth review of each item,” explains Jeff.
“It’s this level of detail without compromising the ease-of-use that makes Plant Assessor a great solution.”
Exact Contracting Group has been very pleased with the adoption and Jeff Rotman explains that there are many positives to come from the arrangement with Plant Assessor.
“The consistent approach to everything gives us confidence that we are always covered. The database is updated frequently to ensure it’s always accurate and aligned with current Australian Standards and Legislation,” he says.
“As a sub-contractor on many of our sites, we need to provide this information to our clients and they are very impressed with our approach to plant risk assessments and the systems we use.
“But the main benefits are around efficiency.”
“The old generic templated system took a safety coordinator up to half a day to complete one assessment but now, on average we can complete one in under two hours. We can also complete the assessment in the field on a tablet where it’s stored in the cloud and accessible 24/7. It saves a lot of time and provides us with a real-time record of each machine.
“Added to that, it’s a nice bonus that the platform is environmentally friendly and has resulted in a big reduction in printing and paper costs.
“The people at Plant Assessor are always available and visit us frequently to ensure we are happy with the system. I’d recommend Plant Assessor to any one managing plant safety no matter the size of their fleet or the sector they work in.”
The Hunt8r Alliance project was a 2 stage major rail infrastructure upgrade in the Hunter Valley of NSW. The job involved building a 3rd rail line along 43 kilometres of ARTC’s heavily trafficked Hunter Coal Rail Network.
The project was part of a broader streamlining of the entire Hunter Valley Coal Chain, and the Hut8r name resulted from its principle objective, being to increase the average train frequency from every 17 minutes to every 8 minutes.
Hunt8r Alliance partners included John Holland, GHD and ARTC.
Stage I – All Hands on Deck
Stage I of the project commenced in 2009, with the start delayed significantly by complications with the Environmental Planning and Assessment process. Unfortunately for the Alliance, despite starting construction 9 months later than expected, deadlines for completion were not adjusted.
This saw a massive plant mobilisation required to get bulk earthworks and other associated works underway as quickly as possible.
Hunt8r Alliance Safety Manager, Jason Hudson, was faced with a significant dilemma – how to ensure all of the plant to be mobilised met the strict safety standards expected by the Alliance partners.
“I had seen the Plant Assessor system some months previously, and thought it was pretty slick. So I called them and asked what they could do to help”
“Plant Assessor immediately came and saw me and ran me through the options – they could teach my team how to use Plant Assessor so we could do it ourselves, or they could send their inspection team in to do it for us.”
“In light of the significant time pressures we faced on the job, we chose to get their inspection team to conduct the initial round of inspections. In addition to that, they were able to tailor the inspections for this project to include some specific issues that we wanted to check on each assessment.”
Within one day of receiving instructions, Plant Assessor had inspectors on site, and was able to complete more than 120 detailed inspections covering a complex 11km long site very quickly.
Following the initial week of inspections, Plant Managers on each section of the project were trained to use Plant Assessor. Between these Plant Managers and Plant Assessor inspectors, a further 280 items of plant were inspected in the following 6 months of Stage I.
Jason Hudson “The Plant Assessor process is regimented and thorough, whilst being simple and easy to follow. Anyone can use it as long as they understand the plant well and have reasonable comprehension skills”.
Stage II – 1000+ Plant Inspections
Stage II of the project saw Hunt8r Alliance move to a full “Do It Yourself” inspection regime.
The 34km long job site was split up into 3 sections each of which had a Plant Manager responsible for ensuring that all plant coming on to the job met the Alliance’s minimum plant safety standards.
These Plant Managers were responsible for ensuring Plant Assessor inspections were undertaken on all plant. Between the three areas, the Alliance successfully inspected well over 1,000 items of plant during the second stage of the project.
During these stages Plant Assessor also chipped in for various charities by hosting site BBQs to help with fund raising activities for good causes, including Movember.
Stages I & II were brought in on time and on budget. The Plant Assessor team are proud to have assisted the project team in some small way in achieving that goal.
Civil Contractors Federation SA
“Our members were contacting the CCF SA to seek assistance with the complex and sometimes daunting task of completing risk assessments. After lengthy discussions and several meetings to determine how best to provide this service to members, we decided to form a partnership with Plant Assessor and the CCF SA Plant Assessor Help Desk was launched. This service provides members with a simple and effective means of achieving legislative compliance on a wide variety of plant that has not previously been available on such a scale.
This service enables our members to conduct a detailed assessment and corrective action plan that is specifically tailored to their plant, using a database of over 100,000 items of plant ranging from basic power tools to the most sophisticated machinery. The end result of this is a more rigorous and systematic risk management process that ensures that the plant owner meets their duty of care obligations in terms of OH&S.
In a climate of ever changing legislative and site requirements CCF SA Plant Assessor Help Desk’s comprehensive risk management report is the clear standout. The system is easy to use, concise and time efficient. CCF SA Plant Assessor Help Desk ensures your equipment meets all OH&S requirements and identifies any risk management needs to maintain the highest safety standards.”
John Bowden, HSE Senior Advisor – CCF SA
Moira Shire Council
“We have received fabulous support from the field service team at Plant Assessor to ensure our plant and equipment is correctly assessed and safe to use. The support desk also provided us much needed help with a specific vehicle that required additional attention.
The training and guidance we’ve received has allowed us to make significant progress in taking Plant Assessor further into the organisation.
While we currently only use the platform to manage our own fleet, we are planning to further utilise Plant Assessor in the near future for managing machinery owned and operated by those businesses who undertake contract work for the Council.
Plant Assessor has quickly become a valued supplier to Moira Council – they are the champions of customer service!”
Dianne Nuttall, Workplace Health & Safety Officer – Moira Shire Council
Australia’s largest ever rail infrastructure project implements market leading machinery safety platform for first stage works
The Inland Rail project is a pivotal development for Australia’s transport network that will enable rail freight transit times of under 24 hours between Melbourne and Brisbane via regional Victoria, NSW and Queensland.
The new infrastructure will transform the way freight is moved on the eastern seaboard. It will connect regional Australia to markets more efficiently, drive substantial cost savings for producers and consumers, and deliver significant economic benefits.
Spanning more than 1,700 kilometres, Inland Rail is the largest freight rail infrastructure project in Australia and one of the most significant rail infrastructure projects in the world.
The 2017/18 Federal Budget included $8.4 billion for the ARTC to deliver the Inland Rail project. ARTC split the project into 13 separate ‘packages’ (one in Victoria, seven in NSW and five in QLD) to be delivered over 10 years.
In October 2018, the INLink JV (BMD and Fulton Hogan JV) was awarded the $310 million contract to build the first of the 13 stages covering the section between Parkes and Narromine in central western NSW.
The project includes a full rebuild of the rail tracks, rail formation and supporting structures in the existing rail corridor to increase the size of loads that can be carried and improve transit times. The upgrades involve:
As of July 2019, over 78 kilometres of existing rail had been removed and construction of 5.3km of new track was well under way. Earthworks are scheduled to be finished by the end of 2019 and rail signaling activity should be completed by March next year.
BMD is the JV partner that was assigned as the lead on all safety related matters on this project and one of the first actions was to introduce the Plant Assessor machinery safety platform to manage compliance for all plant and equipment that will be used on site.
Brian Olsen, Group Safety Manager for BMD, said that the business is always looking at ways it can improve its already excellent safety record and ensuring its staff and contractors are working in an environment where their safety is always seen as a priority.
“As a business, we’d looked at implementing a more robust and accessible machinery safety management system almost a decade ago,” explains Brian.
“Our first contact with Plant Assessor was around 2013 when we saw the system being used on a job we’d been invited onto. We endeavored to incorporate it into a few projects we were managing in Sydney in 2016 including the Schofields Road and Narellan Road upgrades and, while it proved very useful, there were a few reasons it didn’t get the traction we were hoping for.”
“Aside from the obvious benefits around mitigating risk, we knew that implementing a more regimented and accessible system like Plant Assessor would ultimately improve site access and save us time and money, so we continued to scope the solution.”
Up until the end of 2018 BMD used the Microsoft SharePoint document management system to manage data relating to machinery safety. “While it was web-based it was somewhat limited in how we could capture and share information and the process of loading data into the system was labour intensive,” explains Brian.
“BMD has now mandated that all major projects will now have to use the Plant Assessor platform to manage plant and equipment and safety.”
“We like the fact that all information is recorded and presented in real time. It’s fully electronic and available 24/7 on any device, so from a time and resources perspective it much more efficient.”
The roll-out of Plant Assessor on the INLink JV (BMD and Fulton Hogan JV) project has been a complete success.
There are at least 120 items of plant and equipment operational on site each day and over 300 items being used across the site over the duration of the project. The project team has full visibility on the status of every machine. Each sub-contractor is aware of its responsibilities around completing pre-start checks and reporting on other key safety indicators such as service schedules.
Brian says that having a project champion on-site was a key factor in the roll-out and take up of the Plant Assessor platform.
“We chose the INLink JV project to cement Plant Assessor into our broader safety management systems because we knew our on-site safety manager, Tony Horton and his team would embrace it and manage the process,” explains Brian.
“Tony and his team worked closely with our sub-contractors to ensure everyone was aware of the requirements as soon as contracts were awarded. The team at Plant Assessor provided on-boarding materials for sub-contractors to give them some background on the product and documentation required to get them up and running.”
“Tony and his team have stayed very active in dealing with the day-to-day aspects of ensuring the system remains central to all machinery related activity. They ensure any issues are flagged, procedures to rectify are followed and outcomes are recorded.”
“Strong systems like Plant Assessor really do enhance the safety culture of the business and make everyone’s job easier.”
Downer Australia’s commitment to plant & equipment safety cannot be overstated, which is illustrated by their decision to roll out Plant Assessor through all business units.
Downer Power Systems National Safety Manager, Leo Holmes, introduced Plant Assessor into that business unit in mid-2012, with his team subsequently facilitating a successful implementation.
At the same time, Downer General Manager of Plant in Western Australia, Larry Green, worked extensively with Downer National Zero Harm Committee on the need for a robust process for plant risk assessment for all divisions.
The result of this work was a decision to go National with the Plant Assessor system in 2013, involving an extensive roll out process between May and September of that year.
In discussing their decision, Larry said that “Plant Assessor is the only solution that I have seen that considerably reduces the subjectivity of the plant risk assessment process”.
Since the rollout, Downer has conducted a huge number of comprehensive plant risk assessments using Plant Assessor, some of which have been undertaken by members of Plant Assessor’s professional inspection team.
Downer has also utilised Plant Assessor in the management and verification of contractor plant safety on its projects.
The process of inspecting their considerable plant fleet continues in earnest.
At Plant Assessor, we are very happy to be working with the professional and committed team at Downer. We look forward to continuing to work together to identify opportunities to innovate and assist in the journey towards Zero Harm.
Since Plant Assessor became SUEZ’s plant safety tool of choice, the Plant Assessor Team has been continually impressed with SUEZ’s commitment to the safety of their employees, contractors, clients and members of the public.
This commitment has been illustrated in SUEZ’s organised and professional approach to the management of plant safety.
SUEZ has a broad range of waste, recycling and specialist value added business units, a significant geographic footprint, and a very significant, diverse and specialised fleet of plant & equipment.
This complexity means that the management of plant safety is a substantial task.
Plant Assessor has worked closely with SUEZ in the pursuit of leading practice plant safety management. Some of the projects that have arisen during this process include:
These initiatives have been made possible as a result of strong leadership from SUEZ’s Safety Systems group, and a comprehensive and consultative rollout process throughout the business.
This program has seen Plant Assessor used extensively across SUEZ’s substantial Australia wide business to conduct plant risk assessments on a very significant number of plant items.
Plant Assessor continues to work closely with SUEZ as part of this process, and we are proud to be the plant safety management tool of choice for this proactive organisation.
After many years spent working on construction sites, Monica Toews Brown has seen her fair share of incidents and has a very healthy appreciation for safe work practices. She’s also acutely aware of the time it takes to meet the safety requirements that are set for many businesses who operate plant and equipment.
Monica worked for John Holland for seven years, and after that she spent a few years with mid-sized contractor, Daracon and has also had experience in the manufacturing, civil engineering and utilities sectors.
Her formal qualifications in psychology, coupled with significant hands-on experience, means she has the discipline and effective communication skills required to grow and maintain a strong safety culture within an organisation and ensure standards are met.
It was this desire to make a difference that led her to start Red Insight, a Hunter based safety consulting firm that has been operating since 2014 and boasts an impressive array of clients.
Red Insight is a new breed of safety consulting businesses that is using modern technology such as drones (UAV) and cloud based apps to ensure safety is managed even more accurately and comprehensively than in the past, with real time accuracy.
Red Insight has also developed a series of on-the-job exercises designed for plant operators to affect behavioural change. These role based exercises have become a talking point in the businesses where they’ve been used with many long time operators changing their behaviour as a result of the findings.
Monica’s partner James serves as Principal Risk Consultant at Red Insight. He has almost 20 years experience in the safety sector having also worked for major contractors along with a diverse array of in-house and site-based work across the Building, Engineering, Water, Communications and Construction sectors.
James was named WHS Champion of the year in the 2017 Hunter Safety Awards and is currently overseeing safety services and systems being implemented as part of the decommissioning and remediation of the Hydro Aluminium plant at Kurri Kurri.
“Operators are ultimately responsible for how machines are used but this all starts with a pre-op check and other observations and interventions that can minimize risk,” explains Monica.
“I was Introduced to Plant Assessor in 2011. I was impressed with the accessibility, ease of use and the power of the database which linked every machine with the relevant Australian standard in real time.”
“When I started Red Insight I wanted to offer our clients the full suite of risk assessments and safety related services, and machinery safety is a core element of this.”
“When many of them explained they were still conducting clipboard style checks and then cross referencing their reports with the requirements manually I just had to alert them to Plant Assessor.”
Monica explains the benefits for all parties in using a cloud based application such as Plant Assessor.
“What was taking my clients almost four hours, now takes less than 60 minutes. And there are no frustrations with interpreting different handwriting, cross checking legislation or time spent on data entry,” she said.
“It’s the speed, standardisation of templates and reports and ease of use that’s the real benefit for Red Insight and our clients.”
“As they say, time is money, and this platform is the perfect example of that.”
Using Plant Assessor to manage compliance around machinery and minimise the risk of potential incidents is a real point of difference for Red Insight. Many safety consultants do not take the same proactive approach as Monica Toews Brown who views the use of modern aids and cloud based technology as a real value-add for her clients.
One example of the way Red Insight uses the platform is for a client who owns and operates multiple forklifts across various locations.
“I try to conduct inspections with the operator but when this is impractical because of time or distance constraints, the system is so easy to use that I can brief my clients in advance and then talk them through the process over the phone during their first inspection. They find it very easy and can see the advantages right away,” explains Monica.
“We use Plant Assessor for large and small organizations, across all areas of the supply chain and for all types of end users. It’s our one source of truth for machine safety specifications and requirements.”
“A major point of difference with Kennards is our emphasis on safety. We ensure our entire range is extremely well maintained, fully calibrated and compliant so it’s presented fit-to-use every single time it’s delivered to site. Another example of our commitment to safety for all staff, customers and users of our equipment is our association with Plant Assessor.
We initially called on Plant Assessor to assist us with ensuring we had all the relevant safety related information for each piece of equipment. Plant Assessor assessed each item for us and identified any gaps in our documentation. They photographed and catalogued all relevant items and ensured anything that was unique or customised received a specific assessment. Through this work, Kennards implemented a system that ensures that any operator has access to all relevant safety and technical information at all times.
I was very impressed with the process they used to assess each piece of equipment. Their team was extremely knowledgeable, efficient and thorough. We are pleased to have found such a well credentialed business such as Plant Assessor to assist us with our safety related work and to ensure we continue to provide the best possible product to our clients.”
Alex Eiserman, Safety Manager – Rail Division – Kennards
Brisbane Airport Corporation
Since our first experience with Brisbane Airport Corporation, we have been impressed by BAC’s unerring professionalism and well thought through risk management approach to plant safety.
Here, Simon Elsom CPMSIA; Work Health and Safety Advisor at BAC, shares his Plant Assessor experience.
“Plant Assessor presented an outline of their online plant safety system at a Safety Institute of Australia meeting in Brisbane in early 2010.”
“I was completely taken by surprise that this company could offer everything that I was looking for, and to be honest thought it sounded too good to be true. “
“At the time, we were in the process of deciding how best to ensure a strategic and systematic approach to the various risk assessments needed for BAC’s plant and equipment.”
“From the implementation stage in mid-June 2010 Plant Assessor has transformed the way in which we manage our plant and equipment process across our facilities groups within BAC.”
“Plant Assessor virtually eliminates the subjectivity of the risk assessment process and allows confidence and knowledge that the risk assessments are developed to meet all the codes of practice, Australian Standards and now the new Harmonised Laws, in our case the QLD WHS Act 2011 and the accompanying Regulations.”
“Plant Assessor’s massive database of over 75,000 makes & models of equipment means it has never been easier to carry out a risk assessment, and reports include residual risks and corrective action management functionality.”
“The Plant Assessor reports are designed in a way that it is easy to establish any follow up actions or items of concern. If there is any advice or interpretation needed on a report or a machine needs to be added to the system I have always been impressed with the way the team at Plant Assessor carryout their business.“
“Plant Assessor’s website it is great for obtaining the latest information on plant and events, and also gives us access the safety
label shop for all of our plant safety compliance stickers needed.”
“As BAC rolls out its fully digital service/wireless system across the airport precinct, we will also be able to take advantage of the mobility of the Plant Assessor solution, which can be accessed by a range of mobile devices to undertake assessments.”
Nacap is a leading provider of specialised contracting services, delivering infrastructure solutions primarily in the resource sector across the oil, gas, power, mining and telecommunication industries.
Nacap is owned by Quanta Services, a US based S&P 500 Company with over $7.8 Billion in revenue, and is well known for its extensive Australian pipeline construction work including pipelines for the Victorian Desalination Plant and pipelines in Queensland and South Australia for APLNG, Santos and Epic Energy.
Plant Assessor is the leading plant risk assessment tool in the Asia Pacific region.
The comprehensive cloud based risk assessment tool, contains a database of over 80,000 makes and models of plant and equipment and allows users to conduct comprehensive, thorough, consistent and professional plant risk assessment reports quickly and efficiently. Since 2004 Plant Assessor has conducted hundreds of thousands of plant risk assessments, the results of which are embedded in the systems.
The traditional plant & equipment risk assessment process is highly subjective and requires unerring consistency, deep technical machinery and safety legislation knowledge.
Consequently, traditional plant risk assessments are often inconsistent, incomplete, and often do not apply the correct controls to manage the risk of each hazard identified. The traditional risk assessment process can take hours to complete. Plant Assessor simplifies and speeds up this process.
Nacap’s former Corporate HSEQ Manager, Tony Vervest made the decision to use Plant Assessor as Nacap’s principal plant safety management tool in 2010.
“One of our key competitive differentiators is safety – we run very robust systems across all areas of our business. Once I saw and tested out Plant Assessor, I knew it was going to help us continue to lead the way in this important area,” he said.
Jack Roberts, Nacap’s HSE Co-ordinator recalls that prior to using Plant Assessor, it was very rare for a plant safety inspection to give rise to substantial corrective actions.
“It was interesting how many times contractors would come back after conducting a Plant Hazard Assessment and confirm they hadn’t found any problems,” he said.
After Nacap implemented Plant Assessor, Roberts conducted a rapid deployment of the system on a large number of plant inspections of pipeline construction plant on the 938km long QSN3 pipeline for Epic Energy.
This deployment highlighted some of the deficiencies in the previous inspection regime, and was also a good platform for Nacap and Plant Assessor to work more closely together.
As with any rapid deployment, this process did highlight some areas requiring immediate attention – including addition of a range of types, makes and models of plant not previously available in Plant Assessor.
Nacap is one of Plant Assessor’s most proactive clients in management of corrective actions flowing from plant inspections. Plant Assessor has worked closely with Nacap in this area, and the ongoing improvements to the Plant Assessor system in this area are largely attributable to this ongoing working relationship.
“The data in Plant Assessor is able to give good transparency into the volume and status of outstanding actions, and an insight into plant safety activity levels. We are looking forward to Plant Assessor’s future enhancements in this area to help us continue to proactively manage this,” said Roberts.
According to Roberts, Plant Assessor has also been very helpful in the area of managing subcontractor plant and equipment safety.
“In remote location work, it is not uncommon to deal with subcontractors who are not aware of the latest plant safety requirements. Plant Assessor is thorough and unequivocal, and a good tool to help make sure gear belonging to these subbies is assessed and safe for use on our projects.”
Nacap is not only leading the way in its plant risk assessment regime using Plant Assessor, but also in using new technology to improve its plant pre-operation check process.
Nacap was awarded the 2013 International Pipeline and Offshore Contractors Association (IPLOCA) Health and Safety Award at the annual convention held in Washington, USA in September 2013. Nacap was also awarded the Australian Pipeline Industry Association (APIA) Safety Award at the National Convention in Adelaide in November later that year.
These awards were presented in recognition of Nacap’s CodeSafe Initiative, which is an innovative use of QR code technology aimed at educating plant operators on how to conduct pre-operation plant checks.
This technology sees QR codes placed on plant items, which the operator scans with a smartphone or tablet to view a brief instructional video on how to correctly conduct a pre-operational check.
Nacap was also a finalist in the Worksafe Victoria Awards for its development of a hydraulic Pipeline Inspection Gauge Catcher, abbreviated to PIG catcher for short.
Cylindrical, magnetised devices known as “pigs” are used to perform various maintenance operations on new and active pipelines. These operations include but are not limited to cleaning and inspecting the pipeline.
The pig is launched from a launching station (an oversized section in the pipeline) and the pressure-driven flow of the liquid or gas in the pipeline is used to push it along down the pipe until it reaches the receiving trap – the ‘pig catcher’. The safe catching and removal of the pig has caused problems in the past and Nacap designed and implemented a hydraulic system to minimise the risk of impact and escape accidents.
The relationship between the two businesses continues to thrive based on a mutual respect for safe worksites, especially the safe operation of plant and equipment, as well as a shared interest in innovation and a willingness to invest time and money into development and implementation of these types of measures.
At Plant Assessor we applaud Nacap for it’s innovative thinking and willingness to invest time and money into development and implementation of these types of measures.
Carrathool Shire Council
“Sometimes it really pays to get advice and guidance from experts. We made the decision to invest some time and effort into engaging the Field Service Team from Plant Assessor and then ensuring we knew how to manage the safety related aspects of our fleet and our tools on a day-to-day basis and it really has paid dividends. The entire department has a new-found confidence in how we approach our work.
A representative of Plant Assessor arrived on site to meet with our team and conduct inspections and he quickly proved to everyone that he knew what he was talking about. He gained their respect with his comprehensive knowledge of the machines and any and all potential safety issues. He was very hands-on and gave us clear instructions about what we need to do to ensure the machines remained compliant and safe to use.
We were that impressed with the systems they have put in place and the process they follow that we now include a clause in our tenders clarifying our preference that suppliers provide a risk assessment from Plant Assessor with the equipment we purchase from them.
Carrathool Shire Council is pleased to serve as a reference for Plant Assessor, to any prospective business that is considering their platform but especially to other local council and government departments as they understand the unique nature of our sector. We are looking forward to a long and healthy business partnership with Plant Assessor.”
Bert Breuling – Manager, Fleet & Town Services – Carrathool Shire Council
Bundaberg Regional Council was formed in March 2008 when Bundaberg City Council, Burnett Shire, Isis Shire and Kolan Shire Councils merged to become one entity. Strategically situated at the southern end of the Great Barrier Reef the Council covers 6,451 square kilometres and is home to almost 100,000 people.
Andrew Railz, Fleet Manager at Bundaberg Regional Council has been responsible for transformation of Council’s approach to machinery and fleet safety since 2008.
In that time, he has implemented a comprehensive fleet management system and formulated a fleet management strategy based upon sound asset management principles.
In March 2012, Andrew attended an IPWEA Fleet Management Seminar in Rockhampton. At this seminar, Plant Assessor presented its Plant Safety Management Model.
Following this seminar, Andrew decided that Plant Assessor was the right solution for Council to adopt to help ensure its plant was safe to use.
“There were several key features that appealed to me,” explains Andrew.
“Firstly, the Plant Assessor is systematic and transparent. It’s a centralised system that does not rely upon any one individual to manage. Our staff do not need deep safety knowledge or intimate knowledge of each machine type to complete an inspection.
“It was also immediately obvious that inspections were able to be conducted more quickly than before and the process was much more thorough.
“All this means that inspections are more consistent because we are not forced to make subjective judgements about safety risks on plant items.”
Since implementation in mid-2012, Plant Assessor has been a resounding success.
Andrew and the fleet team, including Fleet Maintenance Co-ordinator have been responsible for a seamless implementation of a comprehensive plant safety management plan.
One of the reasons for this prolific success has been Council’s systematic approach to the process. The fleet team saw that adding plant risk assessments as a scheduled maintenance activity would minimise the time and cost required to inspect while ensuring plant items were regularly determined to be safe for use.
As a result, since the implementation, Council has undertaken more than 800 ‘Do It Yourself’ plant risk assessments.
“We made the decision to invest some time and effort with the people at Plant Assessor to ensure we knew how to manage the safety related aspects of our fleet and our equipment on a day-to-day basis and it really has paid dividends,” said Andrew.
“Before this, we relied heavily on scratchy information in handbooks and feedback from operators. The risk assessment process for a single item of machinery could take days to complete. But an even bigger challenge was keeping abreast of legislative changes relating to the risk assessment for each item of plant or machinery.
“Because the Plant Assessor Risk Assessment Surveys are machine-specific and non-subjective, we have been able to spread the task of assessing the machines to a greater number of employees under the coordination of just one person. Changes to legislative requirements are automatically updated and the task of interpreting the WHS jargon is no longer our concern.
“We can now identify and eliminate risks and minimise any downtime. Our machines are safe and compliant, and we have significantly reduced the time and monetary investment in our risk assessments and control solutions.”
Tamworth Regional Council
Tamworth Regional Council is one of the largest councils in inland NSW with a population of 58,000 spread over an area three times the size of the Sydney Basin.
With a machinery and vehicle fleet of over 800 items the Council is no stranger to the pressing demands of preventative safety measures to ensure safe operation of its fleet.
George Shearman came across Plant Assessor in 2008, and following an initial investigation, asked his Technical Officer for Plant & Machinery, Jason Love to conduct a field trial of the system.
At the time the plant safety management process was sluggish and required excessive time and manpower:
“We relied heavily on handbooks and feedback from operators. The risk assessment process for a single item of machinery was taking around a week to complete” Jason said. “But the biggest challenge was keeping abreast of legislative changes relating to the risk assessment for each item of plant or machinery “
“Perhaps the turning point for us was when a supplier alerted us to some critical changes in the legislative requirements relating to Vehicle Loading Cranes. Unless they had alerted us to this critical change it would have gone unnoticed. It was virtually impossible to keep up with the legislation and as a result our machinery risk assessment process was flawed.”
The Secret to Successful Plant Safety Management
Tony Curran, a Plant Mechanic for Tamworth Regional Council, has been responsible for coordinating the risk assessment process for the entire fleet.
Jason Love maintains that appointing Tony as the Plant Assessor “champion” was the secret to their success.
“Because the Plant Assessor Risk Assessment Surveys are machine-specific and non-subjective, we have been able to spread the task of assessing the machines to a greater number of employees under the coordination of just one person. Changes to legislative requirements are automatically updated and the task of interpreting the legislative Health and Safety jargon is no longer our concern.”
“We can now identify and eliminate risks with minimum downtime. For example, we very quickly identified the requirement for anti-drop valves on our excavators for pipe placement on a major pipeline installation and the mandatory use of crane load charts.”
“The successful implementation of Plant Assessor at the Council was largely due to the outcomes it promised and yielded. Our machines are safe and compliant and we have significantly reduced the time and monetary investment in our risk assessments and control solutions.”
But there is still work to be done.
“Our long term goal is to empower our operators with task of conducting assessments as well as start-up checks, which is achievable with Plant Assessor. We’re also working with the Plant Assessor team to overcome the challenges in really remote areas which we can be tackled with tablet computers. This will allow us to eliminate double handling of the assessments and significantly improve our response rates.”
Here at Plant Assessor, we take great pleasure from working with clients such as the team at Tamworth Regional Council.
Civil Contractors Federation SA
CCF South Australia has joined together with Plant Assessor to assist its members in dealing with the complex safety obligations surrounding their plant and equipment.
The “CCF SA Plant Assessor Helpdesk” is a dedicated service which gives CCF SA members preferential access to Plant Assessor’s revolutionary machine safety assessment process.
The Plant Assessor Helpdesk was the brainchild of CCF SA Business Manager – Member Services, Frank Lucks, and HSE Senior Advisor, John Bowden.
“CCF SA members have for some time been contacting the CCF to seek assistance with this complex and sometimes daunting requirement. After some lengthy discussions and several meetings to determine how best to provide this service to members, a partnership was formed and the long awaited CCF SA Plant Assessor Help Desk was launched,” said Mr Lucks.
John Bowden said, “The CCF Plant Assessor Helpdesk provides members with a simple and effective means of achieving legislative compliance on a wide variety of plant that has not previously been available on such a scale.”
“This enables users to conduct a detailed assessment and corrective action plan that is specifically tailored to their plant, using a database of over 75,000 items of plant ranging from basic power tools to the most sophisticated machinery. The end result of this is a more rigorous and systematic risk management process that ensures that the plant owner meets their duty of care obligations in terms of OH&S.”
The Range of Equipment Available
Plant Assessor is the world’s largest plant hazard assessment database, with make and model specific assessments available for approximately 75,000 pieces of plant and equipment and the list is still growing.
Plant Assessor can be used to assess an extremely broad range of machine types across a range of industries, and includes all common mobile earthmoving, lifting, agricultural and industrial plant, an extensive range of fixed workshop, engineering and manufacturing plant, and with a broad range of specific plant for industries such as rail, electricity distribution, waste collection and processing.
The Client Experience
After using the CCF SA Plant Assessor Helpdesk, Mario McDonagh from Rhino Plant Hire in SA said that the system was easy to use and helped to save precious time.
“In a climate of ever changing legislative and site requirements CCF SA Plant Assessor Help Desk’s comprehensive risk management report is the clear standout. The system is easy to use, concise and time efficient. CCF SA Plant Assessor Help Desk ensures your equipment meets all OH&S requirements and identifies any risk management needs to maintain the highest safety standards.
“The team at Plant Assessor handled my assessment promptly and professionally. I highly recommend CCF SA Plant Assessor Help Desk and commend CCF SA for providing this service and partnering with such a professional outfit.”
Flexibility is the Key
One of the strengths of the Plant Assessor system is its ability to adapt to the specific needs of individual businesses and individual fleets. For larger contractors who operate an ever-changing fleet of hire equipment or specialist tooling, having access to the information you need on-demand plays an important role in standardising processes and creating safety frameworks.
Standardisation in this manner also serves to highlight common safety and risk management issues across the fleet, which can then be flagged for the attention of supervisors and staff.
Whatever your business size, it is difficult to overlook the value of the Plant Assessor system. In terms of the safety benefits alone it is a standout product, but the additional benefits that can be gained through increased availability of equipment and reduced maintenance costs are where the actual return on investment can be found.
Having said that, what price a life? If it saves only one person, it’s paid for itself one hundred fold.
Words Courtesy of Earthmover & Civil Contractor Magazine (June 2012)
MAAS Group is a diversified business based in Dubbo specialising in wet and dry plant hire, quarrying and property development.
As Nathan Finlay, Compliance Manager for MAAS Group explains, “civil earthworks is our specialty, we know how to move dirt and we do it very well.”
MAAS Group undertakes work for a diverse range of clients including local councils, state government departments including RMS, private clients and major contractors managing significant projects such as the InLink Rail joint venture currently based in Parkes.
They run a large fleet consisting of more than 200 assets ranging in size from a Caterpillar D11 dozer down to a Bobcat.
“We go where the work is,” explains Nathan. “We spent a lot of time in Queensland a few years back working on various major earthworks projects and we currently have various plant items working on both Sydney Metro and West Connex tunneling projects in Sydney. Closer to home, we are completing various jobs for the Dubbo Regional Council including upgrades at the airport.”
In late 2018, MAAS Group was chosen as a preferred supplier for both wet and dry hire for the InLink Rail JV after winning a very competitive tender process.
At the same time, Plant Assessor had been selected as the provider of a whole-of-site machinery safety system for the project and was working with BMD to configure the platform to enable site access and ensure compliance for all contractors supplying machinery for the project. That gave Plant Assessor an opportunity to work with MAAS Group and around 50 other businesses.
MAAS Group has 49 machines allocated to the project of which 45 were active in June 2019. Prior to being introduced to Plant Assessor, MAAS Group previously managed its machinery compliance function in-house.
“Most earthworks project as a minimum require MAAS Group to provide SWMS, service history, risk assessments & pre-hire plant inspections which are managed and monitored on an internal system we’ve developed over the years,” explains Nathan.
“The more jobs we work on we are noticing the requirements can be quite different on each site. We’ve been exposed to different safety management processes and compliance systems such as Plant Assessor,” explains Nathan.
“Our introduction to Plant Assessor has been very positive.”
“The set-up process was easy to follow. Uploading the details and documents for each machine is straight forward. Once you’ve done a few, the flow is quite quick and easy. It is a very user-friendly system for sure.”
“I had to call the help desk once or twice and they were very helpful. I got through straight away and they dealt with my inquiry on the spot.”
Nathan says the practical benefits of Plant Assessor are the most important to the business.
“The system tells you exactly what you need to do before you can get a piece of gear on site which saves us a lot of time and effort. We need to make sure our machines and operators are up and running as quickly as possible so anything we can do prior to the start date to make this easier is helpful.”
MAAS Group has its own service management tool but the visibility around machine use and performance they have through Plant Assessor is an added bonus according to Nathan.
“The service interval feature in Plant Assessor that shows which machines have a service pending is really good. It’s very helpful to see the service status on machines, and on the odd occasion there is a problem, the process to address the issue is very easy to follow” he says.
“We have a full-time mechanic and a full-time supervisor on the INLink JV project site so we can attend to any issue around compliance or performance immediately we see a flag on the plant Assessor platform.”
“Advanced notification for any renewals is also a very handy feature.”
Nathan explains that the machine operators have also embraced the technology for completing pre-start checks on each machine prior to starting work. Daily interaction with the Plant Assessor platform has become an important part of their plant management process.
“Our operators are very comfortable with the process around pre-start checks. They understand that its important part of ensuring they have a safe work environment and also an important indicator to keep our gear working effectively,” he says.
“It’s clear that Plant Assessor is a useful tool for our business. As a plant safety management system, it certainly ticks all the boxes.”
Maliyan Horizon is a civil contracting business with a difference. A large percentage of the owners, managers and employees are indigenous Australians. In fact, over 60 per cent of the team identify as aboriginal, many as members of the Wiradjuri people whose lands cover the majority of the southern part of NSW.
“Maliyan is the Wiradjuri word for eagle so the name of the business points to an eagle on the horizon protecting our people and our business,” explains Managing Director, Emma Muller.
Muller was a pioneer in female management in the construction and civil earthworks sector. In 2005 she moved to the Pilbara region in western Australia to ‘drive trucks’ and, after being singled out as an exemplary employee by Twiggy Forrest, she was given the opportunity of starting her own business and contracting to Fortescue Metals Group.
She built this business over the next few years and sold it to a larger, local contractor in 2011 and returned to the south-west slopes region in NSW to raise her family. She soon realised that contracting was in her blood and, along with fellow directors Adrian McRae, Luke Penrith and Peter Beath, started a new business with a very defined purpose.
“Living in WA and seeing how the mining sector had influenced the lives of the local indigenous communities, both negatively and positively, I wanted to ensure local aboriginal people were given every opportunity to enhance their lives and their communities. One of the best ways to do this is to provide them with appealing, stable employment,” explains Emma.
“We wanted to really engage the young aboriginal people in region and, through them, engage their broader community. We want them to take pride in their work and see that they can contribute to something. Building infrastructure is certainly something that is tangible and important.”
The business, which now also has operations back in the Pilbara, is based in Illabo near Junee and currently has a site office in Peak Hill where it won a contract in late 2018 to work on the INLink JV rail project, a joint venture between BMD and Fulton Hogan, managing the first ‘package’ of a major Federal infrastructure project rebuilding the rail line between Melbourne and Brisbane.
At the same time, Plant Assessor had been selected as the provider of a whole-of-site machinery safety system for the project and was working with BMD to configure the platform to enable site access and ensure compliance for all contractors supplying machinery for the project. That gave Plant Assessor an opportunity to work with Maliyan Horizon and around 50 other businesses.
Maliyan Horizon owns almost 30 pieces of plant and equipment including articulated dump trucks, diggers and graders and conducts both wet and dry hire and most of this is now employed on the INLink JV Rail project.
“Our first major project was the Gocup Road upgrade between Gundagai and Tumut,” explains Emma. “We learnt a lot and, most importantly, found the nexus of our team. We’ve engaged even more local people to build on the great group we have working at Maliyan Horizon.”
With her brother Mick serving as the Operations Manager, they have a team of 40 currently working on the INLink JV rail project.
“We are here for the long haul,” explains Emma. “We are currently being audited for our ISO9001 quality assurance certification and are looking to receive this qualification very shortly.”
Being a relatively young company, until recently the team have been using basic systems to manage safety protocols and monitor the use of their fleet.
“Up to the point we were introduced to Plant Assessor we used hand checked books and very basic status reports which sat on the dash most of the time,” explains Emma.
“We did enough to meet the relevant requirements on each job and ensure our guys had a safe working environment, but we didn’t know a lot about the different systems available to us.
“The move onto the Plant Assessor platform means that we now have full visibility, a permanent record of activity and up-to-the minute information about machinery safety protocols.”
“The pre-start checks are really useful, and end of month service history reports are also very handy. Because everything flows through to BMD they have also been helpful with alerting us to notifications when we haven’t received them.”
“Some hand holding was required with some of our older guys initially, but the Plant Assessor system is very intuitive, so they got the hang of it quickly.”
“It’s good to know that Plant Assessor is on hand to help us if required. Mick has had little trouble loading the documentation into the system. He initially watched a few of the tutorials and also had some instructions from the support staff.”
“Any tool that can make us a safer, more compliant, and more appealing business to major contractors, is a good thing.”
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