Machinery, plant and equipment

You have certain legal responsibilities if you manage or operate machinery, plant and equipment.

Plant includes:

  • any machinery, equipment, appliance, container, implement or tool
  • any  component of any of those things
  • anything fitted or connected to any of those things

If you design, manufacture, import, supply, install build, commission or control a plant or structure, you have certain responsibilities to:

  • identify hazards and control risks
  • make sure suitable guarding, operational controls, emergency stop controls and warning devices are in place and in use
  • specify and make sure safe work systems and operator competencies are in place
  • register plant designs and items of plant
  • maintain, repair, test, clean, install, assemble , construct, commission or decommission, use and sell plant appropriately
  • provide information to other persons.

If you manage or control plant at work, you must also make sure:

  • safe work systems and operator competencies are in place
  • you hold information on testing, specifications for use, identified faults and maintenance.

Visit the additional control measures for certain plant page on the NSW Legislation website for information on specific control measures.

Used plant and machinery

If you sell second hand plant or machinery you must give written notice to the buyer of:

  • any faults identified
  • any conditions needed to use the plant safety

If plant is to be used as scrap metal or spare parts, you must provide written confirmation of this or have it marked on the plant that it is not for use.

Specific responsibilities for plant

There are additional legal obligations for those who manage or operate the following plant:

  • powered mobile plant
  • industrial robots
  • industrial trucks
  • lasers
  • pressure equipment
  • scaffolds
  • earth moving machinery
  • plant that lifts or suspends loads
  • plant not specifically designed to lift or suspend a person
  • tree lopping plant
  • mobile and tower cranes
  • lift
  • amusement devices
  • plant with presence sensing safeguarding systems

If you work with forklifts, watch this video for steps to handle loads safely.

Remember: use of forklift attachments have limitations; they cannot be used to carry a load greater than the rated capacity of the forklift or the attachment. The weight and load centres of the attachment affect the rated capacity. Make sure you record the rated capacity for each attachment on the forklift’s load plate.

Guidance material

Safe Work Australia has guidance material to help you mange the risks involved in operating machinery, plant and equipment. They include:

Further information

When a licence is no longer needed

You no longer need a licence to operate an excavator, front end loaders, backhoes and bobcats. However you need to make sure that the person using this machinery is competent.

An operator’s competency, and the level of information, instruction, training and/or supervision they require, should be reviewed regularly to ensure the safety of workers and others in the workplace.

Quick hitches

Supplying or installing semi-automatic quick hitches is being phased out in NSW.

For more details on this and other information for people who supply, install or use semi-automatic quick hitches on excavators and backhoes, read our position paper.