Machinery pre starts


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    Machinery Risk Assessments


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                        3 min read

                        Why conduct a pre start with Pre Start Plus?

                        Why conduct a pre start with Pre Start Plus?

                        Without a doubt one of the most common questions we are asked at Plant Assessor is –  “why do we need to …..” 

                        One of the most common “why” questions is undoubtedly, why do we need to complete daily pre start inspections? The answer is a combination of information from many sources. It can even depend on the type of machine we are talking about. 

                        Let’s start with the broadest obligation and work our way down to a more specific obligation. 

                        The WHS Regulations place a positive obligation on businesses to provide plant that is safe for use in the workplace. These obligations are placed on all persons involved with the item of plant along the way to the piece of plant ending up in a workplace. This includes designers, manufacturers, suppliers and finally the person in control of the plant at the workplace. The WHS Regulations have the following clauses:


                        Part 3.1 Managing risks to health and safety

                        Clause 32 Application of Part 3.1

                        This part applies to a person conducting a business or undertaking who has a duty under this Regulation to manage risks to health and safety.

                        Clause 33 Specific requirements must be complied with

                        Any specific requirements under this Regulation for the management of risk must be complied with when implementing the requirements of this part.


                        (1) A requirement not to exceed an exposure standard.

                        (2) A duty to implement a specific control measure.

                        (3) A duty to assess risk.

                        Clause 203 Management of risks to health and safety

                        A person with management or control of plant at a workplace must manage risks to health and safety associated with plant, in accordance with Part 3.1.

                        Clause 213 Maintenance and inspection of plant 

                        (1) The person with management or control of plant at a workplace must ensure that the maintenance, inspection and, if necessary, testing of the plant is carried out by a competent person. 

                        (2) The maintenance, inspection and testing must be carried out:

                        (a) in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations, if any, or

                        (b) if there are no manufacturer’s recommendations, in accordance with the recommendations of a competent person, or

                        (c) in relation to inspection, if it is not reasonably practicable to comply with paragraph (a) or (b), annually.


                        These clauses place a positive obligation on a person in control of plant at a workplace to assess and manage risk. The risk assessment process is quite straightforward. 

                        (1) Identify hazards

                        (2) Assess the risk

                        (3) Control the risk

                        (4) Monitor the risk controls


                        The simplest method to ensure Step 4 is achieved is to conduct pre start inspections using a tool that both the risk controls that have been put in place monitors and whilst also managing risk.

                        Additionally each state has a code of practice for managing the risks associated with plant in the workplace. Each of these codes includes explanation of the requirements of clause 213 and the need to inspect plant to ensure that specific control measures are in place. 

                        There are more specific requirements detailed in Australian Standards. For example, AS 2550.1-2011  Cranes, hoists and winches – Safe use – General requirements, has the following requirements:


                        7.3.1 General

                        Inspections shall be carried out at sufficient frequency to ensure the crane is kept in a safe and satisfactory condition. Inspections shall be carried out in conformance with this Standard, the appropriate part of AS 2550 and instructions written in accordance with this Standard. All such work shall be noted in the records. Inspection shall be as follows:

                        (a) Pre-operational inspection.

                        (b) Routine inspection.

                        (c) Periodic third-party inspections.

                        (d) Major inspection.

                        I hope this helps explain not only the need to conduct pre start inspections but also the requirement to ensure that risk is being assessed during the inspection. 

                        Pre start inspections using Plant Assessor or Pre Start Plus meet the outlined obligations above where no other system does. Not only are the checklists specific to the machine type, but each question is fully risk rated by professional plant risk assessors. This means that at the completion of the inspection the operator will know if the machine is safe for use immediately. Keep in mind when choosing your pre start software that most are simple, generic pre start checklists just like the old books that many are used to. Pre Start Plus however is specific to your machines, excluding anything you don't need.


                        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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