Machinery & Equipment good practices: What you need to know

Machinery and equipment are used everyday on the worksite. Machinery and equipment are designed to make work easier, more efficient, and can generate great amounts of power and speed. This is really handy when there is a job to be done, but this also means there is a greater potential for harm and injury. When there is a potential for harm, especially in the workplace, it needs to be managed to prevent incidents or injuries. A great place to start is by identifying the hazards and risks involved with the machinery and equipment being used so that you can put controls in place to effectively manage them. 

Hazards & Risks
Many pieces of machinery and equipment use force and motion to cut, bend, join or shape materials. This force and motion can harm workers in many different ways such as crushing, cutting, puncturing and burning.

It is good practice to identify the risks to workers’ safety. When machinery and equipment is identified as a hazard in the workplace, the next required step is to manage the hazard. Begin by assessing the risks that these hazards pose to workers. A risk assessment in relation to the machinery and equipment can be completed in the HazardCo app to record hazards and the controls put in place to manage these risks. Keep a list of the common hazards in the workplace and how they are controlled in a hazard register. A Hazard Register template available in the HazardCo Hub.

It is also good practice to complete Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for your machinery and equipment. The SOP should document instructions on the safe operation and maintenance of and training for any machinery or equipment. Ensure that the SOP is created using the manufacturer’s instructions so that it is specific to the machinery and equipment used. A few example SOP’s and a template are available in the HazardCo Hub that can be used to create SOPs for all the machinery and equipment in the workplace.    

Pre-Start Checks
Machinery and equipment are often used in harsh working environments, and on a daily basis. These two factors mean that eventually machinery and equipment can become faulty, damaged or break down over-time. If and when this happens, it can pose a risk to the workers who are using or working closely to the machinery or equipment. It is good practice to manage these risks by doing daily pre-start checks before beginning work. This ensures that the machinery and equipment are inspected and are in good working order before beginning the works. These pre-start checks should be recorded and the records should be kept. There are Pre-start Checklist templates available on the HazardCo Hub.

Workers should be trained to competently complete the work they are required to do. This is especially important when using machinery and equipment as there is an increased potential for harm when it is not used correctly. Make sure that workers have the appropriate training, supervision and qualification (if required) to safely use the necessary machinery and equipment. Keep an up-to-date register of what machinery and equipment workers are trained on and competent in using. A Training Register template is available on the HazardCo Hub which can be downloaded and filled out.

If you need a hand with managing the hazards and risks involved with using machinery and equipment, give HazardCo a call on 0800 555 339.

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