To assist our clients in meeting their various work health and safety (WHS) compliance requirements we have developed a monthly focus.
The main focus of this program is to provide assistance in implementing the WHS systems in accordance with the WHS Act and Various Codes of Practice. (CoP)
There are currently over 24 codes of practice and guidelines that WorkSafe NSW and the Courts will consider whether you as the PCBU have done everything reasonably practicable to protect your staff.
We have segmented the CoP to be the focus of your monthly WHS program.
This Month’s Focus – Plant and Equipment and Electrical Safety
This month’s focus is on Plant and Equipment and Electrical Safety. It is important to read and understand the following:
- Managing Plant Equipment
- Electrical Tag and Testing
Plant and Equipment
All equipment, plant and machinery must be managed to ensure that it is in safe working condition at all times and the required maintenance is conducted to reduce risk. All persons using any equipment must make certain it is only used for its purpose and design.
Plant and equipment must be assessed for hazards, identify risks, and undergo electrical testing before it is used in the workplace. Your business has anobligation to take responsibility to ensure practical steps are taken for the health and safety of your workers and other people impacted by your business, e.g. contractors, volunteers or apprentices. This must also include that any plant within your workplace does not pose any health and safety risks.
When identifying potential hazards, it is important to understand the risks associated with plant. The process involves assessing possible situations involved as well as the potential for the hazard to damage property, or cause injury or illness to a person. To identify these hazards first identify all plant used or stores in your business and consider the ways a person could be injured.
Managing Plant Equipment
Plant equipment must be assessed for hazards, identify risks, and undergo electrical testing before it is used in the workplace. There are a number of considerations that should be reviewed when managing plant and equipment including:
- WHS Pre-Purchase Risk Assessment
- Conduct risk assessment on all new equipment
- Identify if licensing or certification is required
- Ensure all electrical equipment is tested and tagged
- Periodic service and calibration of equipment
- Registration of certain plant equipment with WorkSafe.
- Service and maintenance records
- Prepare safe work procedures
- Determine training needs
- Determine if a competency assessment is required
- Develop toolbox talks
- Train staff
It is important to note that any plant equipment which has the potential to cause harm to an individual or property requires specific information for its safety operation. This plant should also have this information clearly displayed on itself.
Examples of the information that should be provided can include:
- The safe working load or safe working limit of the plant.
- Electrical hazard warning.
- Personal protective equipment (PPE) required when operating the plant.
- Beeps or alarms when the plant is in operation.
Important: Ensure the visibility of signage and that alarms are audible. Whilst also ensuring regular inspections are undertaken to ensure all warning devices are maintained.
Electrical powered machines and portable tools require the following:
- Carry a current test tag
- Be maintained in good electrical condition
- Regular inspection is required as hand held electric power tools, such as electric drills, circular saws, angle grinders, and portable pumps commonly used in maintenance work may suffer from general wear and tear and rough handling.
- Such use may result in damaged cords and cords pulled out of plugs
- Portable power tools and pumps must be maintained and in good electrical condition.
- When cords, plugs or sockets become damaged they must be replaced
- Only a qualified electrician can repair or alter any electrical item.
Tag and Testing
This requires a competent person to conduct a physical inspection of the item and test for any leakage by testing the item and the placing a tag on it. The TAG will include the date of the test, the due date for next test and the name of the competent person.
There are many forms of testing to ensure all electrical equipment is of working order.
It is important your business provides the relevant tagging in the case of machinery malfunction or operation. Danger tags mean that a person is currently using the machinery, plant or equipment. Danger tags must only be placed or removed by each person who is working on the machine, plant or equipment. NEVER use when a “Danger” tag is attached. Refer Electrical Safety SOP_0011
“Out of service” Tag
Out of service tags should be supplied by your business and be readily available. They must be displayed visibly on all machinery, plant or equipment. “out of service” tags must only be placed by the person who inspected the machinery, plant or equipment. A qualified repairer is the only person allowed to remove an “Out of service” tag. Refer Electrical Safety SOP_001
Before work can be commenced an authorised personnel must ensure the appropriate steps are taken. They must test and check that the machinery, plant or equipment cannot be started at the switch therefore ensuring that the machine is isolated. As well as further steps set out in Electrical Safety SOP_0011.
Some plant and equipment are required to be calibrated to ensure that item of plant is measuring correctly. This could include a Carbon Dioxide CO2 monitor in a cool room in a club or hotel or a wheel balancer in a workshop. Some calibration may require the use of a third party to use technical equipment to conduct the calibration whilst other equipment may require a procedure to be conducted. All calibrations must be recorded.
Some items of plant require annual or other periods of inspection to be conducted by an approved or licensed provider. This could include hoists in a workshop or fire extinguishers in all businesses.
Plant Item Registration
Plant that has a high level of risk or harm associated with its operation, use or maintenance must be registered with WorkSafe NSW by the owner, lessee or controller of the plant.
Types of plant that must be registered include:
- building maintenance units
- lifts, escalators and moving walkways
- boilers with a hazard level of A, B or C
Determine if Competency Assessment Required
There are a number of activities that occur in the workplace that are accepted as high risk (such as burns, crushing, cuts, entanglement etc.) and require additional training or assessment to ensure that staff are trained and assessed appropriately. This is completed by staff undertaking a Competency assessment. A Competency assessment includes a checklist completed by a competent person and the worker answering a number of questions regarding safety. Both the assessment and knowledge
Information, Instruction and training
Ensuring your staff members are adequately trained with relevant instruction and supervision. It is also your responsibility to ensure staff are trained in safe work procedures. Whilst also:
- Use warning notices and safety signs
- Train all staff to look around them for hazards and be aware of signs when arriving at a work-site
- Carry out a risk assessment for non-routine outdoor work and before conducting work around power-lines or involving electricity.
Evidence of Compliance
Ensuring your business has evidence of complying with the following:
- Inspection checklists and schedules
- Testing and tagging logbook
- Consultation records, e.g. minutes of staff meetings/WHS Committee meetings
- Risk assessments
Understanding Policy and Procedures
It is a requirement of the work health and safety act for all workers to comply with any reasonable instructions, policies and procedure given by their employer of the workplace. To do this they must first be aware of what they are.
All workers have access to policy and procedures under the My Documents section in CIRT (see CIRT overview in the induction section provides guidance on this).
To make accessing documents easier we have created two sections directly under the home tab on the top right-hand column.
Managers have a tab called Action: Managers Tasks
Workers have a tab called Action: Safety Tasks
Managers are already aware the monthly reports page is located under this tab. You will now have access to this month’s safety tasks which will change each month.
All managers and workers need to do is click on the documents under this tab as outlined in This Month’s Tasks, read and then acknowledge they have read it.
Managers may see additional documents from time to time such as specific toolbox talks that will be developed for a particular month or other guidance material.
This Month’s Tasks
This month is simply two documents:
All staff need to do is complete the following steps just like doing the induction.
Login into CIRT at www.cirt.net.au
Click on Action Safety Tasks Heading
Click on the relevant document under the heading.
Consultation and Toolbox Talk
Supervisors are tasked with completing the following toolbox which is in consultation and toolboxes and in your Action: Managers Tasks