Policy Redesign Project

All policies and procedures are being reviewed as part of this project. This document is pending review, but remains in effect until the review is carried out.

Plant Safety Policy

Establishment: Vice-Chancellor, 18 December 2013
Last Amended: Senior Vice-President, 30 July 2015 
Nature of Amendment: Clarification of tag out/lock out requirements 
Date Last Reviewed: July 2015 
Responsible Officer: Director, Human Resources 

Table of Contents

1.   Purpose
2.   Definitions
3.   Scope
4.   Legislative framework
5.   Responsibilities
6.   Plant Risk Management
7.   Purchasing and hiring plant
8.   Installation and commissioning of plant
9.   Registering plant
10. Instruction, training and supervision
11. Safe work procedures
12. Using plant in the workplace
13. Modifying plant and/or its use
14. Inspecting plant
15. Maintenance, repair and cleaning of plant
16. Isolation of damaged or unsafe plant
17. Storing plant
18. Specific Control Measures
19. Record keeping
20. Related documents
21. Review
Appendix A Items of Plant which must be registered with the relevant regulator


1.  Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to establish a plant safety management system to manage the risks to health and safety associated with the purchase, design, manufacture, installation, use, modification and disposal of plant, in accordance with legislative requirements and the University’s Work Health and Safety Policy.


2.  Definitions



Includes any machinery, equipment, appliance, container, implement and tool, and includes any component or anything fitted or connected to any of those things. Plant includes lifts, cranes, computers, machinery, conveyors, forklifts, vehicles, power tools and amusement devices.

Note: Plant that relies exclusively on manual power for its operation and which is designed to be supported primarily by hand (eg a screw driver) is not covered  by WHS/OHS Regulations. However the general duty of care under WHS/OHS legislation applies to this type of plant.

Registrable Plant

Plant which must be registered with SafeWorkSA (for South Australia), NTWorkSafe (for Northern Territory) or WorkSafe Victoria (for Victoria), as specified by Schedule 5 of the WHS Regulations (SA and NT)/ Schedule 2 of OHS Regulations (Vic).

Competent person

A person who has acquired through training, qualification and/ or experience the knowledge and skills to carry out the required task, and where required, who is licenced or registered to be a competent person.


University staff, contractors and sub-contractors and their employees, labour hire company employees, trainees, students gaining work experience and volunteers.

High risk work

Forklift operation, pressure equipment operation, crane and hoist operation, dogging and rigging work and scaffolding work, all of which require a High Risk Work licence.

Safe Work Procedures (SWPs)

Written instructions which outline the step-by-step process to be followed when undertaking a task, and which include WHS hazards and controls to minimise any risk(s) of harm.


3.  Scope

 This policy applies to all workers and students at workplaces owned, managed or controlled by Flinders University and any place where work is performed by a worker on behalf of the University.


4.  Legislative framework

South Australia

Work Health and Safety Act 2012
Work Health and Safety Regulations 2012

Approved Code of Practice for Managing the Risks of Plant in the Workplace 2012

Northern Territory

Work Health and Safety (National Uniform Legislation) Act 2011
Work Health and Safety (National Uniform Legislation) Regulations


Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004
Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2007


Flinders University Work Health and Safety Policy (PDF) which applies regardless of location.


5.  Responsibilities



Responsible for ensuring that the University meets its legislative responsibilities for the management of all hazards including hazards associated with plant and equipment.

Senior executives

(Deputy Vice-Chancellors, Pro Vice-Chancellor, Vice-Presidents, Executive Deans)

Responsible for ensuring that

  • these procedures are implemented in their Faculty/Portfolio;

  • workers, students and others in the workplace are aware of their responsibilities in relation to plant and equipment and are provided with adequate information, training, instruction and supervision; and

  • there are adequate resources to manage all aspects of plant safety.

Managers and supervisors (including supervisors of students)

Responsible for

  • ensuring that plant is managed and maintained in accordance with these procedures and legislative requirements;

  • ensuring that where required by legislation, plant is registered with the appropriate authority;

  • establishing and maintaining a plant register including a schedule of plant inspection, maintenance and where required, testing;

  • ensuring that users of plant are trained, competent and where required, licenced, and have available, and use appropriate safety equipment;

  • workers and students they supervise are informed about the safe use of plant, and they understand emergency procedures associated with the plant they use; and

  • ensuring contractors demonstrate compliance with legislation relevant to plant which they bring onto University sites, or plant which they use whilst at University sites.

Workers, students and others in the workplace

Responsible for

  • ensuring they have the appropriate high risk work licence as required by legislation;

  • ensuring they have the competency necessary to operate the plant;

  • complying with safe work procedures, including use of any required risk control measures;

  • ensuring start-up and shut down checks are undertaken and recorded;

  • reporting hazards; and

  • not removing any guards or other safety devices.


6.  Plant Risk Management

6.1  A person with management or control of plant at a University workplace must manage risks to health and safety associated with the plant by:

  • identifying reasonably foreseeable hazards that could give rise to the risk;
  • eliminating the risk so far as is reasonably practicable;
  • if it is not reasonably practicable to eliminate the risk, minimising the risk so far as is reasonably practicable by implementing control measures in accordance with the hierarchy of risk control;
  • maintaining the implemented control measure(s) to ensure that it remains effective; and
  • reviewing, and if necessary revising, risk control measures so as to maintain, so far as is reasonably practicable, a work environment that is without risks to health and safety

6.2   Identification of hazards associated with plant, risk assessments and control of the risks must be undertaken in accordance with relevant legislation, Codes of Practice and the University WHS Risk Management Policy and in consultation with workers who use, or are likely to use, the plant and their health and safety representative(s).

6.3  Completed plant risk assessments, including proposed hazard control measures, must be authorised by the manager or supervisor of the person doing the risk assessment confirming that he/she is satisfied that, so far as is reasonably practicable, all reasonably foreseeable hazards associated with the plant have been identified and risks eliminated or minimised.

6.4 Consultation, cooperation and coordination must occur with other businesses or organisations involved with plant at a University workplace (for example those who carry out installation or repair) or who share the workplace with the University. 


7. Purchasing and hiring plant

7.1  Before purchasing, hiring or leasing plant, hazards and risks associated with installation, commissioning, operation, inspection, maintenance, repair, transport, storage, dismantling and disposal of the plant must be determined.

7.2  The University Purchasing Policy must be followed when plant is to be purchased.

7.3  All hired plant must be accompanied by operator manuals, log books (if required) and maintenance records. All hired plant must be installed, inspected and operated by competent workers and risk assessed before use.


8.  Installation and commissioning of plant

8.1  A person with management or control of plant at a University workplace must ensure that:

  • plant is not commissioned unless the person has established that the plant is, so far as is reasonably practicable, without risks to the health and safety of any person;
  • the person installing or commissioning the plant is a competent person, and is provided with all the information necessary to minimise risks to health and safety; and
  • the processes for installation, construction and commissioning of plant include inspections that ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the risks are monitored.


9.  Registering plant

9.1  A person with management or control of plant at a University workplace must apply to SafeWorkSA (for South Australia), NTWorkSafe (for Northern Territory) or WorkSafe Victoria (for Victoria) to register items of plant as specified by WHS/OHS Regulations. Appendix A lists plant which must be registered.

9.2  All applications for plant registration must be lodged with the WHS Unit before being sent to the relevant regulator.

9.3  Registrable plant must not be used in the workplace until it has been registered.

9.4  If a registered plant design is altered so as to require any new risk control measures, the altered design must be registered.

9.5  Registration of an item of plant applies for five years, and may include conditions imposed by SafeWorkSA (for South Australia), NTWorkSafe (for Northern Territory) or WorkSafe Victoria (for Victoria).

9.6  The cost of plant registration is covered by the WHS Unit. Faculties/Portfolios are responsible for the cost of the scheduled servicing as required.


10.  Instruction, training and supervision

10.1  All workers, students and others who are to use plant must be trained in its use before they are required to operate or use the plant. As far as reasonably practicable, the training will be competency based.

10.2  Managers and supervisors must provide workers, students and others who are to use plant with information, training, instruction and/or supervision in the correct use of the plant and any risk control measures. This includes ensuring that users of plant

  • are appropriately licenced or are competent to use the plant;
  • are trained in and follow safe work procedures and/or safe work practices;
  • use hazard controls that are in place;
  • use safety devices or guards;
  • do not remove, override or modify safety devices or guards
  • understand and are able to use emergency procedures and stops; and
  • have an appreciation of the nature of any hazards, the risks associated with them and the reason for the hazard controls.

10.3  Safety information must also be provided to persons who are involved in installing, commissioning, testing, maintaining or repairing plant, as well as decommissioning, dismantling or disposing of plant.


11.  Safe work procedures (SWPs)

11.1  Safe work procedures must be developed for all plant which is risk assessed as extreme or high risk, in consultation with workers who use, or are likely to use, the plant and their health and safety representative(s). 

11.2  Safe work procedures must include instructions, where relevant, on:

  • the correct use of guarding and other control measures;
  • how to access and operate the plant safely;
  • who may use an item of plant (for example, only authorised or licensed operators);
  • how to carry out inspections, shutdown, cleaning, repair and maintenance;
  • traffic rules, rights of way, clearances and no-go areas for mobile plant; and
  • emergency procedures.

11.3  Safe work procedures must be readily accessible to workers who use, or are likely to use, the plant.

11.4  Emergency procedures relating to an item of plant must be clearly displayed on or near it.


12.  Using plant in the workplace

12.1  A person with management or control of plant at a University workplace must:

  • so far as is reasonably practicable, prevent unauthorised alterations to or interference with the plant;
  • take all reasonable steps to ensure that the plant is used only for the purpose for which it is designed, unless a competent person has undertaken a risk assessment to determine that the proposed use does not increase the risk to health and safety; and
  • ensure that all safety features, warning devices, guarding, operational controls and emergency stops are used in accordance with instructions and information provided.

12.2  High risk work

Workers who use certain types of plant, such as forklift trucks, materials hoists, pressure equipment and certain types of cranes, as specified in WHS Regulations, must have a High Risk Work licence relevant to the work being undertaken before they can operate the plant. 


13.  Modifying plant and/or its use

13.1  Where it is proposed to alter the design of the plant, change the way the plant is used or change a system of work associated with the plant, the risk management process must be carried out again and control measures implemented to eliminate or minimise and risks created by the alteration.

13.2  If the plant is to be used in a different way or for a purpose for which it was not designed, the risks associated with the new use must be assessed by a competent person. If a competent person decides that the plant is not suitable for the proposed task, it must not be used for that task.

13.3  Changes made to plant must be notated on the plant’s technical drawings and/or electrical wiring diagrams where these are available. These documents must be kept for the life of the plant.


14.  Inspecting plant

14.1  A person with management or control of plant at a University workplace must ensure that maintenance, inspection and, if necessary testing, of plant is carried out by a competent person in accordance with the relevant Australian Standard or the manufacturer’s recommendations where there is no relevant Australian Standard.

14.2  Each area with plant that must be maintained, inspected and where necessary, tested, must  develop and keep up-to-date a plan, which includes:

  • testing, inspection and monitoring requirements as required by legislation, Approved Codes of Practice,  Australian Standards and/or operating manuals; and
  • a schedule for inspection, testing and monitoring requirements.

14.3  Any control measures implemented, such as guards or warning devices, must be inspected and tested regularly to ensure they remain effective.

14.4  Work processes associated with plant should also be reviewed regularly to identify any unsafe work practices and any inadequacies of control measures that have been implemented previously.

14.5  Reasonably practicable control measures must be implemented to ensure the health and safety of the person conducting the inspection.

14.6  Records of inspections, testing and maintenance of plant must be reported to the Faculty/Portfolios WHS Committee.


15.  Maintenance, repair and cleaning of plant

15.1  Plant must be maintained, repaired and cleaned according to the manufacturer’s specifications, or in the absence of such specifications, in accordance with a competent person’s recommendations.

15.2  Cleaning, repairs and maintenance processes must be risk assessed and documented in the operational SWP or in a separate SWP for such processes.

15.3  Wherever possible plant must be brought to a safe state and de-energised before maintenance, service, adjustment, repair or cleaning begins. Where plant cannot be isolated, methods to prevent accidental energising or start-up of the plant or equipment must be implemented to ensure the health and safety of the person undertaking the work.

15.4  A Personal Danger Lock and a completed Personal Danger Tag must be attached to the isolator switch, valve or device so as to provide effective isolation. Some plant may need to be isolated at multiple points.

15.5  Where more than one person is to work on the plant, each person must attach their own Personal Danger Lock and Personal Danger Tag.

15.6  Before starting any work on the plant, it must be tested, without exposing the tester or others to risk, and safe state and isolation verified.

15.7  Each person must remove their own Lock and Tag when the task has been completed or if required to leave the work site either temporarily or for an extended period. If the task is not complete and no persons are remaining working on the task, a completed Out-of-Service tag must be placed at the isolation points.

15.8  All guarding must be replaced prior to start-up of plant.


 16.  Isolation of damaged or unsafe plant

16.1  When damaged or unsafe plant is being taken out of service it must be brought to a safe state and isolated to manage any risk associated with an unexpected release of energy or isolated to manage any other risk. 

16.2  An Out-of-Service tag must be attached securely to the controls of the plant once the plant has been brought to a safe state.

16.3  An Out-of-Service tag must only be removed by a competent person who has

  • carried out repairs or maintenance to the plant, if the plant has been returned to a condition fit for use; or
  • inspected or tested the plant and found that the plant is in a condition fit for use.


17.  Storing plant

17.1  Plant that is not in use must be stored so that it does not create a risk to workers or others in the workplace.

17.2  Before plant is used after an extended period of storage, the plant should be re-commissioned by carrying out testing and inspection to ensure a level of safety no less than when it was first commissioned. 

17.3  Measures must be taken to prevent stored mobile plant from moving on its own accord (eg rolling down a slope) or to prevent unauthorised operation.


18.  Specific Control Measures

18.1  The provisions of the Code of Practice Managing the Risks of Plant in the Workplace must be followed as a minimum standard for plant guarding, operator controls, emergency stops, warning devices and isolation of energy sources.


19.  Record keeping

19.1  Each area (eg School or laboratory) must maintain a plant register which:

  • lists all plant in a particular area;
  • includes all registrable plant;
  • has records of all tests (including safety devices), inspections, maintenance, commissioning, decommissioning, dismantling and alterations of the plant;
  • includes documented safe work procedures and information, instruction and training provided to users of the plant.

19.2  All information gathered as part of the risk management process, including identified hazards, risk assessments, risk controls and reviews of risk control measures must be kept by the Manager of the area where the plant is located.

19.3  Each area where staff are issued with Personal Danger Locks must keep a register showing names of staff to whom they have been issued and date of issue and return.

19.4  Records must be kept for the period that the plant is used or until the University relinquishes control of the plant (eg sells or disposes of the plant).


20.  Related documents

Work Health and Safety Policy (PDF) 
Work Health and Safety Risk Management Policy
Electrical Safety Procedures
Purchasing Policy


21.  Review

This policy will be reviewed regularly in the light of legislative and organisational changes, and in any case, every four years to ensure it remains effective, relevant and appropriate to the University, and reflects current legislative requirements.



Appendix A

Plant items requiring registration with SafeWorkSA (for South Australia), NTWorkSafe (for Northern Territory) or WorkSafe Victoria (for Victoria)

  • Boilers categorised as hazard level A, B or C according to criteria in Section 2.1 of AS 4343 - Pressure equipment - hazard levels.
  • Pressure vessels categorised as hazard level A, B or C according to the criteria in Section 2.1 of AS 4343 - Pressure equipment - hazard levels, except for gas cylinders; LP Gas fuel vessels for automotive use, and serially produced vessels
  • Tower cranes including self-erecting tower cranes
  • Lifts, including escalators and moving walkways
  • Building maintenance units.
  • Amusement devices covered by Section 2.1 of AS 3533.1:2009 - Amusement Rides and Devices, except for certain Class 1 structures (see below).
  • Concrete placement units with delivery booms.
  • Mobile cranes with a rated capacity of greater than 10 tonnes.

Note: The plant listed as requiring item registration does not include:

  • a crane or hoist that is manually powered
  • certain Class 1 structures:
    • playground structures
    • water slides where water facilitates patrons to slide easily, predominantly under gravity, along a static structure
    • wave generators where patrons do not come into contact with the parts of machinery used for generating water waves
    • inflatable devices that are sealed
    • inflatable devices that do not use a non-return valve. 

Plant items requiring registration with the Environmental Protection Agency (for South Australia), Department of Health (for Northern Territory) or Department OF Health (for Victoria)

  • radiation apparatus