Plant and Machinery

This page provides a general overview of University risk management processes for the safe use of plant and machinery.

The University WHS Procedure - Managing Workplace Health and Safety Risks describes the risk management process to be followed by workplaces to identify and control hazards associated with plant and machinery.

Plant hazard identification involves finding all of the things and situations that could potentially cause harm and must be conducted in close consultation with the people involved in the task. WHS 41 provides guidance in this process. Identified hazards and risk controls are to be recorded in the local WHS 01 and regularly reviewed.

University of South Australia laboratories use a variety of equipment. The machines illustrated in the Podcast training modules linked below may not be the same as the equipment in your laboratory. If you are unsure of how to apply the principles contained in these videos you should seek guidance and advice from your supervisor, WHS Consultant or the Safety and Wellbeing Team.

Hazards associated with plant generally arise from:

  • The plant itself. For example, hazards associated with a forklift would include hazards relating to its mobility, its electrical, hydraulic and mechanical power sources, its moving parts, its load-carrying capacity and operator protection.
  • How and where the plant is used. The forklift, for example, may have hazards arising from the kind of loads it is used to lift, the size of the area in which it is used and the slope or evenness of the ground.

Risk management

Hazard controls for consideration to minimise risks include:

  • Pre-purchase planning to ensure hazards are eliminated where possible
  • Guarding plant
  • Operator controls
  • Emergency stops
  • Warning devices
  • Isolation and energy devices
  • Inspection, maintenance and repair programs
  • Decommissioning, dismantling and disposing of plant
  • Instruction, training and supervision
  • Protective clothing

UniSA Podcasts about training for specific pieces of equipment

Please note: The following forms are updated frequently. Please access the forms from this page and do not store a local copy to avoid using outdated forms.




References and resources