Guidelines to follow when completing risk assessments


CRITICAL: You cannot complete a Plant Assessor risk assessment unless you have a comprehensive understanding of the machine you are assessing.

Machine Details
Ensure that machine details are correct, confirm machine id type and details when inspecting machine

Specification Page
Always check specs for hearing etc. Hearing protection is only required when the noise level is above 85dba at the operator position.

Extras Page
All extras fitted must be marked e.g.. manual hitch must be ticked to show that it is a manual hitch and not a quick hitch. The extra (e.g. ROPS/FOPS) must have some certification, so only tick if you have verified certification by visual inspection.

Answering the Questions - Specific to Assessors

All questions must be answered to complete the assessment. The survey will guide you as to what you are looking for you must simple answer the questions truthfully and honestly.

The 5 golden rules for answering PA questions:

  1. Always read the whole question 
  2. Never make assumptions
  3. Err on the side of caution 
  4. Answer all questions truthfully
  5. Only answer a question Not Applicable if the question really is Not Applicable!

Information Questions
Always answer NO unless information is sighted and reviewed

Operator competency
Always answer NO

Rule of thumb for 1st step - not greater than knee height. Legislation requires steps to be no greater than 450mm. Machines to consider - All trucks, wheel loaders, graders, skid steers, rollers, dumpers etc. Always check all 4 steps at rack level on all tracked equipment are free from damage and are non-slip.

Horns, lights, beacon
Horn, Automatically NO if not labelled, test if possible, YES if labelled and appears as per manufacture
Lights, Automatically NO if any damage to any lens, YES if appears as per manufacture
Beacon, as per lights 

Labelling, NO unless all controls are labelled, including controls not in cabins
Orientation, if NO to labelling question then automatically NO, only YES if all labelled and as per question requirements, look and consider orientation where possible 
e.g.. crane controls on table/top
Ergonomics, NO if controls used all the time are located behind operator controls

Hearing label
Consider the machine with regard to how noisy it is e.g.. all mini excavators are well under 85dBA for the 8 hour limit at the operator ear without a cabin. Hydraulic hammers and the like require external labels for bystanders.

Answer NO if not all requirements of question met regardless of machine type.

Quick Hitch
Cannot be both fully and semi auto hitch. Quick hitch must be hydraulically operated, all others are manual hitch.

Answer NO to fully auto if not 100% certain of compliance. Assume semi auto if fitted with a safety pin or pin hole.

Damage, NO if any damage to outside sheathing or any steel braiding exposed.
Remember to document replacement requirements in assessor comments section as follows. "Hydraulic hose adjacent XXXX requires replacement prior to operation." Fluid injection and whiplash - remember to consider all parts of the operator body and that glass is not a shield.

Only mark in extras if it has some sort of compliance, Inc. FOPS 
e.g. 3449, 3471 or OSHA (ROPS fitted do not cut, drill or weld label does not class as certification.)

If not marked in extras:
   Question 1: must be a NO

   Question 2: must be N/A
   Question 3: must be NO regardless

If it is damaged it must be noted in the comments section in (Question 2.) Excavators are EXCLUDED from this and must be answered:

   Question 1: NO
   Question 2: N/A
   Question 3: N/A if NO ROPS

   Question 1: NO

   Question 2: N/A if NO FOPS

Tyres & Rims
Any damage, e.g. exposed wire, gashes, baldness is a NO with comment as follows:

  • "XXX side, based on looking forward for RHS & LHS and position, front rear & inner/outer if applicable requires replacement prior to operation"
  • All tread must be raised, any smoothness and tyre must be replaced
  • Gashes and cuts in side walls are a value call, any exposed wire or bulging tyre must be replaced
  • Smoothness is acceptable on forklifts and self-propelled EWPs if there is some tread
  • Bald is accepted on solid tyres only, if not solid it must be treated as per normal tyres
  • Split rims - telling signs include two rows of nuts/bolts, as a split ring

All modifications must be noted unless questions have been included in survey. All modifications must be considered by -identifying the hazard and Consequence v Likelihood.

Structural Damage
All damage and repairs to structural components must be a NO and noted accordingly as follows e.g.

"The boom has had a crack repair adjacent the stick knuckle, the repair appears to be carried out by a competent person. Please monitor this repair as part of your daily pre-op checklist. If crackling reappears then operation must cease until the appropriate repairs are completed by a competent person."


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