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                        2 min read

                        What is a machinery control and when should it be applied?

                        What is a machinery control and when should it be applied?

                        Machinery controls are a crucial part of maintaining the safety of equipment, and therefore, the safety of people. However, knowing when to implement these controls may be confusing. This article explores the definition of machinery controls and when they should be applied to optimise safety across the workplace.


                        What is a machinery control?

                        A machinery control encompasses a variety of measures designed to manage and regulate the safe functioning of equipment. The machinery control used to mitigate the risk of a hazard is determined through the use of the hierarchy of control. To learn more about the hierarchy of control, see our article Hierarchy of control explained.


                        When should machinery controls be applied?

                        There are a number of instances where machinery controls should be applied to mitigate the risk of a hazard. Discover these situations below.

                        When a hazard arises

                        Timing is of the essence when it comes to addressing machinery hazards. Critical risk controls should be promptly applied when they are first identified, rather than waiting for any scheduled servicing and maintenance. Swift action could mean preventing an incident from occurring and reducing the risk of machinery operators and bystanders suffering serious injury. Lower risk controls can be delayed to be dealt with as part of scheduled servicing activity.

                        When a hazard is identified during inspection

                        Hazards will be identified quickly when regular and comprehensive inspections are conducted on a machine. Machinery controls should be applied in line with the findings of these inspections to reduce the potential risk they pose.

                        When legislative obligations change

                        The regulatory landscape governing machinery operation and supply is ever evolving. Legislation, regulations, standards and codes of practice are constantly being updated. Inspection templates need to be updated to reflect these new requirements.

                        During emergency situations

                        Machinery controls play a pivotal role in facilitating swift action in the face of an emergency situation. Whether it’s utilising an emergency stop, evacuating or cordoning off an area, implementing emergency controls in the event of a machinery incident can avert catastrophic results and minimise the impact on people’s safety.

                        Ongoing hazard monitoring

                        Often the risk of a machinery hazard will be adequately mitigated once a control is implemented but that may not always remain the case. Continuous monitoring of machinery hazards and their associated controls enables early detection should the control no longer be effective. By staying one step ahead of the potential risks, businesses can proactively minimise the risks posed by machinery hazards.


                        Want to know more about machinery controls and when to apply them?

                        Contact the Ideagen Plant Assessor team for guidance from machinery compliance and safety experts. Simply call 1300 728 852 or email

                        You can also automate the process of determining machinery controls. Find out how in our on-demand webinar, Nail machinery risk analysis and mitigation.



                        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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