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                        3 min read

                        What is machinery risk mitigation and why is it important?

                        What is machinery risk mitigation and why is it important?

                        We all know how vital machinery is to our day-to-day operations, however, it can be quite dangerous, presenting a unique set of risks and hazards.

                        Machinery risk mitigation can aid in reducing these risks and helping to ensure a safe working environment. In this article, we will delve into the definition of machinery risk mitigation, explore why it is of paramount importance and discuss practical steps to mitigate risks associated with machinery.

                         

                        What is machinery risk mitigation?

                        The term machinery risk mitigation refers to the proactive and systematic measures and strategies used by a business to identify, assess, control and monitor any potential risks and hazards involved with the operation of machinery. This approach to mitigating the risks associated with machinery can minimise the likelihood of incidents, therefore improving the safety of your workers.

                         

                        Why is machinery risk mitigation important?

                        There are many reasons machinery risk mitigation is a vital component of your business operations. Some of these reasons include:

                        Reducing the potential of risks and hazards

                        Having a process in place to identify hazards as they arise and address them promptly can help to reduce the potential for the level of risks to escalate, and pose a serious threat to workers.

                        Reducing the potential for incidents to occur 

                        By addressing machinery hazards immediately through a risk mitigation strategy, the chance of incidents occurring can be significantly reduced. Managing risks and hazards effectively can also aid in ensuring your machine is running as efficiently as possible and is less likely to require costly repairs, resulting in downtime.

                        Reducing the potential of injuries and fatalities 

                        Protecting your workers from injury or fatality is one of the main objectives of machinery risk mitigation. Ensuring you have an appropriate risk mitigation strategy in place can help to create a safe working environment for your employees and help to minimise the impact of any machinery-related incidents.

                        Increasing compliance with legal obligations 

                        Many jurisdictions, both in Australia and abroad, have stringent safety regulations around the operation and supply of machinery, and adhering to them is a legal requirement. A thorough machinery risk mitigation strategy can aid in ensuring compliance with these requirements.

                        Reducing the potential for prosecution

                        Failure to comply with your legal obligations for the operation and supply of machinery may lead to repercussions, which could include large fines or gaol time. Not only does mitigating the risks associated with machinery demonstrate your commitment to the safety of your workers, it could also reduce the likelihood of legal action being taken against your company.

                         

                        How can I mitigate the risks associated with machinery?

                        There are a few key measures you can implement to mitigate the risks associated with the operation of machinery.

                        Complete regular risk assessments

                        Machinery risk assessments are the foundation of risk mitigation, as they provide opportunities to identify potential hazards, determine their level of risk based on likelihood and potential severity of consequences, and implement control measures to mitigate the risks. It’s also important to monitor any hazards identified in the risk assessment process on an ongoing basis, and regularly reassess machines when required, such as when the machinery or work processes change.

                        Conduct daily pre starts

                        Completing a pre start check on your machinery prior to commencing operations will allow you to identify and address any issues promptly, helping to prevent downtime with your machine, and possibly incidents. When conducting your pre start, make sure you check key components and functionality that affect the operation and efficiency of your machine.

                        Keep up with servicing and maintenance

                        Regular servicing and maintenance are crucial in ensuring machinery operates at peak efficiency and safeness. A well-maintained machine is less likely to malfunction, and this may also reduce the chance of the machine being involved in an incident. It is recommended you implement a comprehensive maintenance schedule that adheres to the original equipment manufacturer’s (OEM’s) guidelines.

                        Monitor previously controlled hazards

                        Hazards that were once under control may evolve over time, and the level of risk they pose to a person may change. Regularly monitoring and reevaluating previously controlled hazards can help to ensure ongoing effectiveness.

                        Encourage a culture of safety within the workplace

                        Encouraging workers to report potential hazards and near misses can further boost the proactive approach you have implemented for identifying and addressing hazards through your machinery risk mitigation processes. Try fostering a workplace culture that prioritises safety through open communication, reporting of hazards and employee consultation in relation to safety matters.

                         

                        Want to learn more about machinery risk mitigation?

                        Plant Assessor’s team of experts can provide you with the guidance you need to mitigate the risks involved with operating machinery. Contact us on 1300 728 852 or info@assessor.com.au for further information.

                         

                         

                        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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