A powered mobile plant, as defined by Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011 is any plant that works with self-propulsion, under the direct control of an operator. Examples of such machinery are those used in earthmoving, cranes, excavators, hoists, forklifts, reach stackers, elevated work platforms, etc. Knowledge of mobile plants will help you understand mobile plant risk assessment, and the associated health and safety issues. Employees, managers, and operators need to be familiar with mobile plants at the workplace, to develop an awareness about the risks involved. Safety at the workplace is an important concern for both employees and owners.
What are the different types of the mobile plant?
Let’s have a look at the different types of mobile plants.
Industrial –These are commonly used in heavy industries. These include forklifts, mobile cranes, sweepers, elevated work platforms, lift trucks, and others.
Construction –Such equipment is used in the construction industry. Examples are forklifts, ditch diggers, mobile cranes, rollers, dumpers, concrete placing units, and more.
Mining –Heavy machinery used in the mining equipment consist of excavators, bulldozers, scrapers, pile rivers, mobile cranes, power shovels, and others.
Agriculture, Forestry & Fishing –These machines are used for working in farms, forests, and for fishing. Examples are tractors, forklifts, timber jack de-limbers, graders and others.
Other mobile plants and machines include those used for the purposes of transport, storage, defence, communications, government administration, and more. These machines are used in the retail and wholesale business, logistics, supply chain industry, health services and more.
What are the risks involved with mobile plants?
If you happen to work with a mobile plant, or somewhere close to it, it is crucial that you conduct mobile plant assessment to make sure that the safety of your employees, workers, and contractors is not compromised. Risk could arise from the following factors:
Less than safe vehicles and failure of equipment.
Collisions with pedestrians
Poorly trained equipment operator
What are the Statutory Requirements?
In order to ensure safety, you have to follow statutory requirements for mobile plant risk assessment, as per the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations, also called PUWER. There are also requirements as per the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations (LOLER). This deals with the risks involved in machinery that is used to lift loads.
Only professional mobile plant operators should be given the job. Adequate fitness of operators should be ensured, along with timely supervision and clear communication. At no time should the rated loading capacity be exceeded. There should be proper safety zones to prevent accidents. Other compliance efforts include pinpointing the hazards, proper awareness of the business, and the machine operator. Only when all these boxes are clicked is a desirable compliance work permit issued.
Proper workplace standard operating procedure should be drafted, documented and practiced. Control measures like collision prevention, loading assistance, etc., should be followed. Further, the plant has to be used only as per the design specification. Any unused machinery or plant should be cleared from the site to prevent mishaps. Installation of warning devices is also an important safety measure. The inspection and assessment of the plant should be carried out by an authorized and competent person.
Professional mobile plant risk assessors can help you adhere to the plethora of legislation. When companies find it too complicated to manage the same with their employees, they employ the help of professional mobile plant risk assessors in Australia, who are experts in documentation and legislation compliance.
Compliance is a major issue, and it is not to be taken lightly.