In 2023, we wrote this guide on the release of the standard AS13031:2023 which provides guidance on the use of quick hitches. This standard replaced AS4772:2008, the first Australian standard for these type of devices.
The updates included a number of key changes such as:
Semi automatic hitches no longer meet the requirements of the standard.
Fully automatic hitches that allow attachments to swing if the primary retention system fails no longer meet the requirements of the standard.
Lifting points must form a closed eye, spring loaded latches of a particular design are permitted.
Manual hitches must have a primary retention system and a secondary safety system.
Detailed specific requirements for the design of the control system.
Requirements for audible alarms vary depending on the control system.
In our original guide, we stated that we would take the time to consult with state-based regulatory authorities in relation to this standard and make a decision about how these changes would affect Plant Assessor’s risk assessments. We have now arrived at our new stance on quick hitches.
When you conduct a Plant Assessor risk assessment on your machine, only fully automatic and manual quick hitches will meet the requirements of this standard. Semi-automatic hitches pose safety risks to operators and those in the vicinity of a machine using quick hitches, and use of these will be considered a hazard in a Plant Assessor risk assessment.
For current Plant Assessor users, these changes are already in effect.
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.