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                        3 min read

                        Action management for machinery safety

                        Action management for machinery safety

                        Are you an action hero? It is easy to say yes, but are you really? Proper action management in Plant Assessor is critical to achieving the safest machinery and ensuring you have met your legislative obligation.

                        Plant Assessor aims to be as flexible as possible while trying to maintain the highest level of compliance. Risk controls are provided for every hazard identified on each machine as a result of a very thorough risk assessment process. To manage these actions whilst providing flexibility Plant Assessor has more than one option as to how you manage the actions that result from the assessment process.

                        These are –

                        1. Action is complete

                        2. Action to be completed at a date after the Plant Assessor recommendation

                        3. Action not required


                        Before we go on I think that it is important to mention that each risk control in Plant Assessor is a result of careful consideration of legislative requirements in each jurisdiction, Australian Standards, Codes of Practice, leading practice and diligent application of the risk assessment process including application of the hierarchy of risk control as per the international risk assessment standard.


                        Let’s get back to it. These 3 options seem simple enough, right? Let’s take a closer look to ensure we understand how and when to use each of these options.

                        1. Action is complete  – This means that the Plant Assessor recommended action has been put in place. Use this option as soon after the risk control has been put in place. Once an action is marked as complete the risk management report is immediately updated, a new risk management report must be created to reflect this change.

                        2. Action to be completed at a date after the Plant Assessor recommendation – This option is used when there is a delay in getting the parts for required to put the recommended risk control in place. It creates an audit trail of your safety management. This is sometimes also used when there isn’t the resources available to complete the actions required within the time frame recommended by Plant Assessor, whilst this is not common it still  creates an audit trail of your safety management.

                        3. Action not required – This is perhaps the most misunderstood and therefore incorrectly used of the three options. This option can only be used in two circumstances

                          1. A different but equal or higher risk control to the Plant Assessor recommended risk controls has been put in place to manage the identified hazard e.g. Plant Assessor has asked for a fire extinguisher to be fitted however the machine is fitted with a full mine spec fire suppression system.  

                          2. Under the specific circumstances of use the hazard does not exist e.g the machine is not fitted with headlights and the machine is only used during daylight hours such as on a ride on lawn mower. The hazard, collision due to not being able to see where you are going does not exist in daylight, the machine has a beacon so that bystanders can see the machine. The hazard remains in the risk management report with the assessor comment that the machine must not be used any time other than daylight hours unless the risk control, in this case headlights and rear lighting are fitted.

                        When any of these options are used, Plant Assessor records who and when.  When using the not required option Plant Assessor also records why in the assessor comments. This is because it is unusual to use this option and incorrect use may lead to dire consequences for the user. As a result correct use of the not required function is a key part of Plant Assessor training.

                        Another important point is that Plant Assessor applies risk treatments based on the requirements of each jurisdiction, therefore all questions are required in the jurisdiction unless the feature does not exist on the machine. If the feature does not exist in the machine then the question is answered N/A, if the question is answered NO then it is required regardless of the jurisdiction. Use of the not required function with a comment such as “not required in WA’ or “not applicable” is not sensible given the way Plant Assessor works.


                        Be an action hero and ensure that your staff are safe, your machines are compliant & you have met your legislative obligations.


                        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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