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education.vic.gov.au

Plant and Equipment Management

Policy last updated

15 June 2020

Scope

  • Schools
  • School councils

Contact

OHS Advisory Service


Date:
February 2020

Policy

Policy

The purpose of this policy is to ensure that risks associated with plant and equipment within schools are identified and managed.

Summary

  • The Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Act (2004) (Vic) and OHS Regulations 2017 (Vic) require the Department to provide or maintain, systems of work that are, so far as is reasonably practicable, safe and without risk to health, including risks related to plant and equipment — for example, machinery, appliances, or tools.
  • The principal and/or their delegate (as the local management representative) must lead a systematic approach to identify, assess and control hazards associated with plant and equipment in their workplace/s using the Hierarchy of Controls.
  • Under the OHS Act 2004, employees while at work must take reasonable care for their own health and safety and the safety of others who may be affected by their actions or omissions.
  • Central and regional offices provide a range of support and services to assist principals and employees to be safe and well, including access to the OHS Advisory Service and local regional officers who can provide free advice to schools on managing risks related to plant and equipment.
  • The Plant and Equipment Procedure must be followed, and sets out the practical step-by-step instructions for implementing this policy.
  • This Policy forms part of the Department’s OHS Management System, see OHS Management System (OHSMS) — Employee Health, Safety and Wellbeing for further information.

Policy

The principal and/or their delegate (in consultation with the Health and Safety Representative (HSR) or employee(s) affected by the relevant plant and equipment) must ensure that:

  • all plant and equipment are identified and recorded in the Plant and Equipment Register or equivalent, and included in the  column titled ‘Hazard’ in the OHS Risk Register or equivalent, including the level of risk assessed
  • a risk assessment is completed for each identified hazardous item of plant and equipment documented in the Plant and Equipment Risk Management Form or equivalent
  • control measures are identified to reduce the risks, that they are implemented and documented in the OHS Risk Register, and regularly reviewed for effectiveness
  • where the control measures include development of procedures for safe operation of plant and equipment, a Safe Work Procedure Template is completed and displayed adjacent to the item of plant or equipment.

In defining and keeping the control measures up to date, the principal and/or their delegate (in consultation with HSRs and relevant staff), and employees working with plant and equipment, must ensure:

Definitions

Plant
Under the OHS Act 2004, 'plant' includes:

  • any machinery equipment, appliance, implement and tool
  • any component of any of those things
  • anything fitted, connected or related to any of those things.

Hierarchy of Controls
There are a number of ways that risks associated with hazards can be reduced however, the effectiveness of each method may vary. The prioritising of approaches in managing the risks associated with a hazard is called the hierarchy of controls and indicates the decreasing level of effectiveness of various approaches. The hierarchy of controls are:

  • eliminating the hazard at the source
  • substituting the hazard with something else that poses a lesser risk
  • isolating the hazard with an engineering control
  • implementing administrative controls and changing the way work is done
  • providing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

Often a number of different approaches are used in conjunction with each other to provide a more effective risk control.

Contact

OHS Advisory Service


Procedure

Plant and Equipment Management Procedure

The Plant and Equipment Procedure must be followed, and sets out the practical step-by-step instructions for implementing this policy.

The Procedure contains the following chapters:

  1. Identify plant and equipment
  2. Risk assessment of plant and equipment
  3. Purchase or acquisition of plant
  4. Controlling plant and equipment risks
  5. OHS Risk Register
  6. Legislation, Codes of Practice, Standards and Guidance

1 Identify plant and equipment

1  Identify plant and equipment

The principal and/or their delegate must identify all plant and equipment within the workplace in consultation with the Health and Safety Representative (HSR) and employees and record this information in the Plant and Equipment Register or equivalent.

Examples of plant and equipment include:

  • ladders
  • table saws
  • powered hand tools
  • lifts.

Hazard identification should take place:

  • when new plant and equipment is introduced into the workplace
  • for all existing plant and equipment
  • before any changes are made to the system of work for plant and equipment
  • before the plant and equipment is used in a manner other than what it was designed for
  • when new information regarding the safety of the plant and equipment becomes available.

The principal and/or their delegate must be aware that there are many types of plant and equipment items within their workplace.

Each item presents its own hazards which can include:

  • electrical
  • mechanical and moving parts
  • crushing or cutting
  • fire and explosion
  • hot parts of plant
  • noise
  • manual handling
  • chemical hazards.

Injuries resulting from incidents involving plant can range from:

  • near misses
  • small cuts and bruises
  • serious injuries such as amputations, scalping, de-gloving, and fatalities.

2 Risk assessment of plant and equipment

2  Risk assessment of plant and equipment

The principal and/or their delegate are to ensure that a risk assessment is completed and documented in the Plant and Equipment Risk Management Form or equivalent. A risk assessment should be completed for each identified hazardous item of plant and equipment in consultation with:

  • HSR
  • employees
  • relevant standards, codes of practice or legislation.

When determining the level of risk of a hazard the principal or their delegate should also consider:

  • systems of work related to the use of the item of plant or equipment
  • layout and physical conditions of the workplace
  • range of methods by which the work can be completed
  • type of hazards involved with the method of use and item of plant or equipment proposed to be used
  • competence of persons to undertake the work.

3 Purchase or acquisition of plant

3  Purchase or acquisition of plant

The principal and/or their delegate must ensure that prior to the purchase or acquisition of plant and equipment, that the OHS Purchasing Checklist is completed in accordance with the OHS Purchasing Procedure.

This should occur in consultation with:

  • HSR
  • Employees.

4 Controlling plant and equipment risks

4  Controlling plant and equipment risks

4.1  Control measures

The principal and/or their delegate in consultation with the HSR and employees are to ensure suitable controls, as outlined in the OHS Risk Management Procedure, are selected and implemented where plant and equipment risks are identified. This is to be documented on the Plant and Equipment Risk Management Form.

Examples of plant and equipment controls, from most-to-least effective, could include:

  • determining whether the task can be completed by an alternative method — for example, purchasing timber pre-cut to the correct length
  • installing and maintaining fixed guarding on machinery
  • training employees in appropriate courses to obtain the required competencies
  • developing Safe Work Procedures
  • providing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), such as ear and eye protection.

Where the controls include development of procedures for the safe operation and/or use of plant and equipment, a Safe Work Procedure Template should be completed and displayed adjacent to all items of static plant and accessible to operators of portable plant.

Plant and equipment that is identified as being unsafe must be isolated and tagged as per the Equipment Isolation and Tag Out Procedure.

4.2  Training and Education

The principal and/or their delegate are to ensure teachers are competent to use plant and equipment in their facilities.

Teachers are required to have the necessary qualifications as outlined in the Victorian Institute of Teaching (VIT) Qualification for Teacher Registration Qualification Policy to enable them to teach Materials Technology in schools.

This shall be supplemented by successful completion of relevant modules of the Safe Use of Machinery in Technology Teaching course. Further information on this course is available from the Department’s OHS Advisory Service on 1300 074 715.

Training records are to be maintained by the principal and/or their delegate as outlined in the OHS Induction and Training Procedure.

4.3  Maintenance

The principal and/or their delegate are to ensure that a record of inspections and maintenance is kept for each item of plant and equipment. This includes scheduled maintenance, breakdown maintenance and replacement of parts (e.g. blades and belts) outside the scheduled maintenance program. Maintenance requirements should be determined in accordance with the supplier or manufacturer recommendations. Details recorded for plant and equipment should as a minimum include:

  • plant and equipment name
  • location
  • serial or identification number
  • description of work performed
  • completion date of repairs/maintenance
  • who the work was performed by.

If the workplace does not have an existing recording system, the Plant and Equipment Maintenance Form may be used. When items of plant are being maintained or repaired they must be isolated and tagged as per the Equipment Isolation and Tag Out Procedure.

The principal and/or their delegate should ensure that contractors engaged to undertake maintenance are managed as per the Contractor OHS Management Procedure. The frequency of the maintenance program will depend on:

  • legislative requirements
  • manufacturer recommendations and requirements
  • results of the Plant and Equipment Risk Management Form
  • plant and equipment breakdown / failure rates.

4.4  Reviewing controls

The principal and/or their delegate are responsible for reviewing the effectiveness of risk controls in consultation with the HSR and employees.

The principal and/or their delegate should review the completed Plant and Equipment Risk Management Form, OHS Risk Register and any other relevant sources of information (for example, operating manual) to determine if the current controls are appropriate for individual items of plant and equipment. Any changes to the risk controls must be documented on the relevant Plant and Equipment Risk Management Form and the OHS Risk Register.

Plant and Equipment Risk Management Forms are to be reviewed and revised whenever there is evidence to indicate that the controls may no longer be valid, for example:

  • when the system of work for plant and equipment changes
  • if the plant and equipment is used in a manner other than what it was designed for
  • when an incident occurs involving an item of plant
  • when new information regarding the safety of the plant and equipment becomes available.

4.5  Licensing requirements

WorkSafe Victoria requires the operator of certain items of plant and equipment to hold a relevant licence. Licencing requirements can be found in Schedule 3 of the Victorian Occupational Health and Safety Regulations — High Risk Work Licence Classes.

The principal and/or their delegate should ensure that all operators of plant and equipment required to be licenced are identified as per the OHS Induction and Training Procedure.

A photocopy of the current licence must be collected by the principal or their delegate and retained in the training records. The licensing requirements for contractors are to be managed as per the Contractor OHS Management Procedure.


5 OHS Risk Register

5  OHS Risk Register

The principal and/or their delegate are to ensure that the OHS Risk Register is kept up to date and is reviewed when plant and equipment hazards are identified, assessed, controlled and reviewed. Communication of any changes to the hazards associated with plant and equipment is to occur as per the OHS Consultation and Communication Procedure.


6 Legislation, codes of practice, standards and guidance


Resources

Resources

Plant and Equipment Risk Management Forms and Safe Work Procedure templates

The Plant and Equipment Risk Management Forms and Safe Work Procedure templates have been designed as generic guides to assist workplaces with assessing plant risks and developing safe work procedures. These documents should be used as a guide only and do not mitigate the requirement to assess plant risks and develop safe work procedures that are appropriate for the plant within your environment.

Maintenance equipment

Cutting tools

Shaping tools

Joining tools

Finishing tools

Miscellaneous 

Other templates relevant to this policy and procedure

Competency tests

  • Safe use Plant and Equipment Competency Test (Word) this form is to be completed for each item of safe use plant being assessed. Only teachers who have completed the course in Safe Use of Machinery for Technology are permitted to assess and supervise a student using a Safe Use plant item.
  • Restricted Plant Safe Use Competency Test (Word)— this form is to be completed for each item of restricted plant being assessed. Only teachers who have completed the course in Safe Use of Machinery for Technology are permitted to assess and supervise a student using a restricted plant item.

Reviewed 19 March 2020