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                        3 min read

                        The 7 best machinery hazard identification strategies

                        The 7 best machinery hazard identification strategies

                        Heavy machinery is inherently hazardous, posing risks to yourself, your workers and members of the public.

                        Identifying these hazards, and then controlling them, is critical to ensuring a safe workplace. In this article, we will list the 7 best machinery hazard identification strategies that can help you address hazards in a timely way, and protect the safety of your people.

                         

                        What are machinery hazards?

                        Machinery hazards include a wide range of potential dangers that can come about as a result of the operation or maintenance of heavy machinery. There are a number of different types of machinery hazards such as crushing, entanglement, electrical and ergonomic, among many others. Identifying these hazards, and understanding the risk they pose, is critical to mitigating them and reducing the potential for incidents and injury to workers.

                         

                        What are the best strategies for machinery hazard identification?

                        There are many different strategies that can be used for hazard identification on machinery. We have listed some of the best below.

                        1. Conduct risk assessments

                        One of the most fundamental hazard identification strategies is to conduct a comprehensive risk assessment. Conducting a risk assessment on a machine involves evaluating its design and operation to determine the potential for hazards to be posed to the machine’s operator or people in the surrounding environment. Usually, this process involves identifying the potential hazards, rating the level of risk they pose based on likelihood and potential consequence and then implementing corrective actions to control the hazard and reduce the risk.

                         

                        2. Read the OEM’s recommendations

                        The original equipment manufacturer (OEM) of your machine will provide recommendations and guidelines surrounding potentially hazardous areas in the user manual. Reading through the manual will help you to identify hazards that may be unique to your particular machine, while understanding the OEM’s recommendations may help to reduce the risk of hazards arising in the first place.

                         

                        3. Keep updated on guidance from authorities

                        Regulatory authorities and industry associations often publish guidelines and advice related to machinery safety. Staying informed of this information is critical to understanding the latest safety advice related to your machinery or being aware of what hazards are being identified regularly. These authorities and organisations may also publish standards or codes of practice that can provide advice on identifying and controlling hazards that may be associated with your machine or be applicable to the environment or industry it is being used in.

                        Stay up to date with the latest advice from your state or federal authority by using the links below.

                        Safe Work Australia

                        SafeWork NSW

                        WorkSafe Victoria

                        WorkSafe Queensland

                        SafeWork South Australia

                        WorkSafe Western Australia

                        WorkSafe Northern Territory

                        WorkSafe New Zealand

                         

                        4. Investigate all incidents

                        It may seem unnecessary to investigate minor machinery incidents but learning from past incidents is critical to identifying machinery hazards. All incidents and near misses involving your machines should be thoroughly investigated to determine the root causes and contributing factors, and consequently, the hazards that may be present as a result.

                         

                        5. Consult and communicate with staff

                        Your employees are at the front line of operating and maintaining your machinery, and are a crucial part of identifying machinery hazards. Establishing open channels of communication will help to involve your staff in the hazard identification process, and increase the chances of hazards being identified. Your workers’ experiences can also provide you with valuable insights about concealed or emerging hazards that may not have been identified through more formal measures, so consulting with them on hazard identification strategies is critical.

                         

                        6. Monitor previously controlled hazards

                        Hazards will likely evolve over time, meaning the measures used to control them may become less effective or obsolete. For this reason, it’s essential to continually monitor the machinery hazards that have previously been identified or controlled to ensure they are still providing adequate protection to your workers.

                         

                        7. Review and update hazard management processes

                        As technology, legislation and workplaces evolve, hazard management processes can become outdated and ineffective. Therefore, it’s critical to regularly revisit your hazard management processes, including machinery risk assessments and safety training, among other things. This will help to ensure your business is properly identifying and addressing hazards and keeping workers as safe as possible.

                         

                        What are the best strategies for machinery hazard identification?

                        Plant Assessor’s team of machinery experts are on hand to help you understand machinery hazards, and the best strategies for identifying and controlling them. For more information contact us on 1300 728 852 or email 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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