Designers, manufactures, suppliers and importers

The best time to eliminate and minimise the risk of injury is in the design and planning stage – when hazards and risks can be ‘designed out’ before they are introduced into a workplace.

Ergonomic principles should be applied in the design stage. This means that a job and workplace should be designed to fit the people doing the task, not the reverse. It involves consideration and understanding of how people interact with the work environment, tools and equipment.

Designers, manufacturers, importers and suppliers of plant and structures have duties under the WHS Act to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that structures and products are without risks to health and safety when used for a purpose for which they were designed or manufactured.

Design of a workplace

Designers of buildings used as workplaces should consider the manual tasks that may be performed throughout the lifecycle of the building, from construction through to use, maintenance, refurbishment and potential demolition.

Some types of workplaces, such as hospitals, nursing homes, warehouses and distribution centres, carry out a high level of manual tasks and as such,  will require particular design requirements to eliminate and minimise the risk of injury to workers

Design of plant

The safe design of plant can play a critical role in reducing the risk of injury for workers. When designing plant, consider all phases of its life, including manufacture, cleaning and servicing.

If practicable, trial a prototype in a range of operating conditions and think about the plant will be used and change any aspect of the design that increases the risk of injury

This is a legal requirement under the WHS Regulation - Clause 61
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