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    Machinery Risk Assessments


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                        4 min read

                        What makes a good machinery risk assessment?

                        What makes a good machinery risk assessment?

                        Risk assessments are an inherent part of supplying, owning, operating and contracting in machinery.

                        If you own, use or sell machinery, you must assess the potential risks and hazards so that the machinery you are supplying is free from risk to those that use it by:

                        1. Identifying the hazard.

                        2. Assessing the risk by determining the consequence and likelihood.

                        3. Control the risks.

                        4. Monitor the risk and the controls that have been implemented.


                        So, if you own, use or sell machinery, you will have come across machinery risk assessments, and some have probably been better than others. 

                        At Plant Assessor, we believe there are 7 key things that make a good risk assessment, and these things should all be part of the assessments you complete on your machinery. 


                        It’s easy to understand and complete

                        We all know completing a risk assessment can be a bit of a bore, especially if you conduct them regularly. But, if your risk assessment is easy to use, understand and complete, it becomes less of a chore for you. When a risk assessment is easy and not time consuming, you’ll feel like it’s less of a hassle and you’ll be more likely to complete it. 

                        Additionally, an easy to understand and complete risk assessment means anyone should be able to assess your machinery. While we’d love it if qualified safety managers were able to conduct risk assessments all the time, the reality is this isn’t always possible. A good risk assessment should be able to be completed by anyone, even the newest and most inexperienced operator on your site.


                        A good risk assessment is thorough

                        As much as a risk assessment should be easy to complete, it should also not be stingy. At Plant Assessor, we believe that many risk assessments out there are not thorough enough. That’s why completing a Plant Assessor risk assessment involves your assessor answering a series of questions. This helps to build a complete and detailed picture of the state the machine is in, and therefore, it will also get to the heart of whether your machine is safe and compliant.


                        It’s digital

                        Who likes to complete paper forms these days? We know we don’t! That’s why Plant Assessor believes a good risk assessment is a digital one. When you conduct risk assessments digitally, they will always be there for you to refer back to, meaning you can keep a record of historic documents for many years. Digital risk assessments also mean you don’t have to carry around a clipboard on site all day and you have fewer piles of paper waiting for you at your desk to file away. That’s a massive win!


                        A good risk assessment is built upon industry knowledge 

                        Some risk assessments involve a very simple check-over of your machine with little or no understanding of the underpinnings of why we check these things. But when you use a risk assessment that is based on a deep knowledge of the industry, many types of machinery and the legislation, standards and regulations that dictate machinery and workplace safety requirements in Australia, you will know the plant you have assessed is more likely to be compliant and therefore safe.


                        It’s machine specific

                        Completing any sort of generic risk assessment on your machine is a good start but it’s even better if you can complete a risk assessment that is specific to your piece of equipment. The intricacies of each individual piece of plant means it should have its own dedicated risk assessment. By using such a specific risk assessment, you’ll know that you have checked all the unique components of your machine for any hazards and subsequent risks, ultimately making you and your workers safer.


                        A good risk assessment identifies the need for corrective actions

                        Not only should a risk assessment determine whether your machine is safe or unsafe for operation, it should also identify the risks that require control with corrective actions. The corrective actions provided in a Plant Assessor risk management report can help you to eliminate or reduce the risks that may be present on the machine and, once implemented, can reduce the potential for a serious injury or fatality to occur on your site.

                        It’s important to note, though, that a risk assessment is only as good as the controls that are implemented as a result of the assessment. It’s all well and good for you to identify risks on your machine, but if you don’t find a way to reduce the likelihood of the risk occurring and implement that control, the risk assessment is pointless. Therefore, always implement the recommended controls.


                        It can be signed off objectively

                        It’s all well and good to complete the risk assessment, but you also need to make sure it’s completed properly. This can be achieved by a competent person signing off on the assessment. This person should check over and fully understand the completed risk assessment, then ensure the corrective actions and controls have been implemented before signing off on the assessment. When choosing a risk assessment to complete on your machinery, make sure you select one that can be objectively signed off.


                        Do Plant Assessor’s risk assessments cover all of these areas?

                        Yes, they absolutely do! At Plant Assessor, we believe in making our risk assessments the best they can be to help you determine whether your plant is safe and compliant. We then apply best practice controls to mitigate each hazard and improve your machine’s safety. That’s why Plant Assessor is the leading risk assessment software for machinery compliance.

                        All of Plant Assessor’s risk assessments are:

                        • Easy to complete and understand – they are built for anyone to complete. Simply answer yes, no or not applicable on all risk assessment questions.

                        • Thorough – including plenty of questions to ensure all aspects of your plant are assessed.

                        • Digital – providing you with a digital library in the cloud to store all your previous risk assessments and other relevant machinery documents.

                        • Built upon industry knowledge, legislation, standards and regulations – offering you a unique product that gives you peace of mind that you’re thoroughly checking your machine’s compliance. We know it so you don’t have to.

                        • Machine specific – select your exact machine from a database of over 120,000 pieces of plant and equipment so you know all the intricacies of your unique machine have been assessed.

                        • Offer corrective actions – a full report of any actions that need to be taken to improve your machine’s safety and compliance is collated for you following the completion of the assessment.

                        • Objectively signed off – an objective person may sign off on the risk assessment following its completion.


                        If this sounds like the risk assessment you need for your fleet, get in touch with our team of machinery compliance and risk assessment experts today by calling 1300 728 852 or emailing


                        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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