Plant and machinery

Plant is a major cause of workplace death and injury in Australian workplaces. There are significant risks associated with using plant and severe injuries can result from the unsafe use of plant including:

  • limbs amputated by unguarded moving parts of machines
  • being crushed by mobile plant
  • sustaining fractures from falls while accessing, operating or maintaining plant
  • electric shock from plant that is not adequately protected or isolated, and
  • burns or scalds due to contact with hot surfaces, or exposure to flames or hot fluids.

Other risks include hearing loss due to noisy plant and musculoskeletal disorders caused by manually handling or operating plant that is poorly designed.

Plant 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 items as diverse as lifts, cranes, computers, machinery, conveyors, forklifts, vehicles, power tools and amusement devices.

Plant that relies exclusively on manual power for its operation and is designed to be primarily supported by hand is not covered by the legislation; instead the general duty of care applies to this type of plant.

Related Forms and Resources

Competent persons
Competent persons for inspection and maintenance of plant
Pressure equipment operation - licence requirements
Quad bikes safety standard
Telescopic handler operation - Licence requirements
Tower cranes – Duties of principal contractor
Tractor and rural machinery safety
Vehicle loading cranes
Application for a replacement registration - Design or plant item
Application for an item of plant registration - Renewal
Notification - Changes to information for an item of plant
Registration of an item of plant
Registration of plant design
Managing the risks of machinery in rural workplaces
Plant design registration
Plant item registration
Quad bikes in workplaces
Vehicles as a Workplace National Guide