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                        3 min read

                        10 machinery compliance mistakes and how to avoid them

                        10 machinery compliance mistakes and how to avoid them

                        It can be easy to make mistakes when it comes to machinery compliance, and you may not even know you are making them. So how do you know what machinery compliance mistakes you are making and how do you discover the best ways to avoid them? We take you through the 10 most common machinery compliance mistakes we see in the industry and some easy solutions you can implement to reduce the safety risks to you and your workers.

                         

                        Mistake 1: Not knowing your obligations and legal requirements

                        As an operator or supplier of machinery, there are a number of legal obligations you must comply with. Not knowing and fully understanding your legal requirements can impact your ability to ensure your machines are as safe as can be. For more information about what obligations you need to comply with in your jurisdiction, see our guide Safety legislation and obligations for machinery owners and suppliers.

                         

                        Mistake 2: Ignoring regular maintenance

                        Maintaining and servicing your fleet of machinery regularly can help to keep it safe, otherwise, it may be prone to malfunctions, downtime, poor efficiency and a potentially shorter lifespan. These all have associated safety implications that can put you and your workers at risk. Consider implementing a regular maintenance and servicing schedule to ensure your machines are inspected on-time, hazards are controlled promptly and the safety risks are reduced.

                         

                        Mistake 3: Failing to keep up with machinery safety regulations and standards changes

                        Legislation, regulations, standards and codes of practice are all subject to change. Authorities and regulatory bodies will adapt these requirements over time in response to incidents and to keep machine operators and bystanders safe. Ensure you keep up with the latest updates to ensure you remain compliant and your fleet is as safe as possible.

                         

                        Mistake 4: Using non-standardised methods for assessing machinery

                        The completion of risk assessments on machinery can be a difficult task, and when completed by different assessors, they can be subjective, and therefore inaccurate. This may prevent the adequate identification and evaluation of machinery risks. To prevent this mistake from occurring, implement standardised risk assessment methods that are compliant with all legal requirements. It’s also important to train assessors in how to use these methods to ensure consistency across all risk assessments.

                         

                        Mistake 5: Neglecting to maintain and keep safety records

                        Keeping records about your machine’s maintenance, servicing and any incidents it has been involved in paints a picture crucial to understanding its compliance and level of safety. Without it, you will not be fully aware of all risks it may be posing to your operators and those in the machine’s vicinity. Consider creating a safety management file complete with risk assessments, pre starts, service and maintenance history and operator competencies to maintain a comprehensive machine history.

                         

                        Mistake 6: Not assessing the whole fleet

                        Risk assessing machinery can be a difficult and time consuming task, so it may be tempting to only assess certain machines and not the whole fleet. However, this will not identify hazards that are present on machines that haven’t been assessed, potentially endangering those operating that machine or those in its vicinity. Avoid this mistake by ensuring risk assessments are conducted on all machines in your fleet.

                         

                        Mistake 7: Poor communication of safety information

                        Safety information such as safe operating procedures (SOPs) and safe work method statements (SWMS) tell your workers how to safely operate and maintain machinery. If you don’t communicate this information to them, how can you expect them to properly maintain a safe environment around machinery? Improve your safety communication methods by implementing an effective strategy that utilises multiple communication channels such as email, notice boards and toolbox talks.

                         

                        Mistake 8: Failing to conduct regular inspections

                        Similar to mistake 6, when you are busy, it can be tempting to skip a machinery risk assessment to save time. Risk assessments should be conducted on machinery on a regular basis, as infrequent or irregular assessments can result in hazards going undetected and potentially harming your workers. Consider setting a schedule, complete with notifications, for machinery risk assessments to ensure they are conducted on time.

                         

                        Mistake 9: Using outdated or defective machinery

                        Outdated and defective machinery is inherently risky; they may not feature the latest safety technology or there could be hazardous components that pose risks to operators and bystanders. Keeping your machinery and its components up to date is a great way to reduce those risks. Alternatively, older machinery can be more regularly risk assessed to evaluate and mitigate any hazards that pose a threat to workers’ safety.

                         

                        Mistake 10: Ignoring regular maintenance

                        It is important to ensure your machinery operators are fully trained and properly certified, because those who lack experience or qualifications may put themselves and others at risk of injury. Ensure your workers take part in ongoing safety training and keep them informed of the latest safety practices to help avoid making this mistake.

                         

                        Want further in-depth guidance on these machinery compliance mistakes and how to avoid them?

                        Check out our on-demand webinar, 10 machinery compliance mistakes and how to avoid them in 2024 which provides you access to our FREE, informative guide. Alternatively, you can contact our team of machinery compliance experts on 1300 728 852 or info@assessor.com.au.

                         

                         

                        Disclaimer: This information is intended to provide general information on the subject matter. This is not intended as legal or expert advice for your specific situation. You should seek professional advice before acting or relying on the content of this information.

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