- Case Study -
Plant Assessor and Tamworth Regional Council
How we've helped Tamworth Regional Council improve its risk assessment process.
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.
"Our machines are safe and compliant and we have significantly reduced the time and monetary investment in our risk assessments and control solutions."
- Jason Love, Technical Officer for Plant & Machinery, Tamworth Regional Council