Frequently asked questions - Plant and machinery

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This page contains frequently asked questions on plant and machinery

Does relocation of a tower crane require registration for altered plant design? 

Yes. Relocation of a tower crane will require a design registration under Work Health and Safety (General) Regulations 2022 Regulation 244.

Regulation 244 states that if the design of an item of plant is altered such that the alteration may affect health or safety, then the altered design must be registered. The Work Health and Safety (General) Regulations 2022 differ from the Safe Work Australia model regulations in that it does not explicitly exclude this Regulation 244 to tower cranes relocation (R.244 (3)).  Therefore, it is a requirement under regulation 244 to register the altered design of the tower crane prior to relocation.

Furthermore, the definition of a crane in Work Health and Safety (General) Regulations 2022 includes the supporting structures of the crane and its foundations. The tower crane base is included in the design registration of tower cranes in WA.

Design registration of tower cranes consider location specific parameters, including:

  • Site specific geotechnical conditions and reports
  • Foundations and the building ties
  • Wind speed for high wind rated areas
  • Vibration factors
  • Rated capacity
  • Maximum height under hook
  • Maximum jib length

The tower crane will require registration of its design in accordance with Regulation 244 at the new location due to the change in risk from these factors. 

Will tower cranes need to be inspected by a competent person prior to use?

Yes. Tower cranes are items of plant that will need to be registered under the under Work Health and Safety (General) Regulations 2022. Regulation 266 describes the information to be included in the application, and this includes a statement that the item of plant has been inspected by a competent person and assessed by that person as being safe to operate at a workplace.

Further, Regulation 213 includes that the person with management or control of plant at a workplace must ensure maintenance, inspection, and, testing of the plant is conducted by a competent person.

The maintenance, inspection and testing must be carried out -

  1. in accordance with the manufacturer's recommendations, if any; or
  2. if there are no manufacturer's recommendations, in accordance with the recommendations of a competent person; or
  3. in relation to inspection, if it is not reasonably practicable to comply with paragraph 1 or 2, annually.

The majority of manufacturer’s recommendations for tower cranes require a competent person conduct an inspection prior to use. Therefore, it is considered reasonably practicable for tower cranes to be inspected by a competent person prior to use.

What are the inspection requirements for a mobile crane or tower crane? 

Regular inspections

Section 21 of the WHS Act 2020 requires that a person with management or control of plant at a workplace must ensure, so far as reasonably practicable, that the plant is without risks to health and safety. The general requirement to maintain plant is covered under Regulation 213 of the Work Health and Safety (General) Regulations 2022 (WHS Regulations). This includes that the person with management or control of plant at a workplace must ensure maintenance, inspection, and if necessary, testing of the plant is conducted by a competent person.

The maintenance, inspection and testing must be carried out -

  1. in accordance with the manufacturer's recommendations, if any; or
  2. if there are no manufacturer's recommendations, in accordance with the recommendations of a competent person; or
  3. in relation to inspection, if it is not reasonably practicable to comply with paragraph 1 or 2, annually.

Major inspections

Regulation 235 of the WHS Regulations provides for major inspections of registered mobile cranes and tower cranes. The person with management or control of the plant must ensure that a major inspection is conducted by a competent person - 

  1. at the end of the design life recommended by the manufacturer for the crane; or
  2. if there are no manufacturer's recommendations – in accordance with the recommendations of a competent person; or
  3. if it is not reasonably practicable to comply with paragraph 1 or 2 - every 10 years from the date that the crane was first commissioned or first registered, whichever occurred first.

Can earthmoving equipment be used as a crane? 

Yes.

Earthmoving equipment should only be used as a crane if (a) it has been designed to be used as a crane, (b) limitations provided by the manufacturer in the use of the equipment as a crane have been adhered to, and (c) the equipment has been designed and manufactured to applicable standards.

Guidance on special requirements for earthmoving equipment used as a crane can be found in AS1418.8. However, where the primary use of the plant is for craneage work, the relevant requirements of AS 1418.5 and AS 1418.8 are considered reasonably practicable.

Is a High Risk Work Licence (HRWL) required to use earthmoving equipment as a crane?

No, however this will be required for earthmoving equipment exceeding three tonnes capacity from 31 March 2024.

Earthmoving equipment used as crane that has a rated safe working load of three tonnes or less does not require a high risk work licence (See WHS (General) Regulations 2022, Reg. 5, Reg. 81 and Schedule 3).

The transition period is to provide time to obtain the required licences for use of earthmoving equipment exceeding three tonne capacity –

  • for equipment that is non-slewing the appropriate HRWL will be crane and hoist operation, non-slewing mobile crane (CN); and
  • for equipment that is capable of slewing, the appropriate HRWL will be crane and hoist operation, mobile crane, basic (C2).

Operators of earthmoving equipment must be competent for the tasks they are required to conduct, and have suitable training and experience.

Can I use my item of plant for 21 days after applying for plant registration if I have not received the registration document yet?

No.  Under the Work Health and Safety (General) Regulations 2022, you cannot use the item of plant after applying for plant registration until you receive notification of the decision. 

DMIRS processes plant registrations as quickly as possible, typically within 3 weeks.

To help avoid delays, before you submit your application, make sure you provide all the necessary information and meet all the requirements in accordance with Form 201 (Registration of an Item of Plant Form 201).  More information on plant and design registration can be found at Frequently asked questions - Registration of plant design and item of plant 

If you have a need to use the item of plant before being notified of the decision on the application, you may apply for an Exemption from the regulator in accordance with Work Health and Safety (General) Regulations 2022 Part 11.1.  The regulator will assess exemption applications on a case-by-case basis. You will need to include information on how safety standards will be met.

Do air receivers and boilers need plant registration?

Yes, certain types of pressure equipment require plant registration under Regulation 246.

The following are items of plant listed Schedule 5 Division 2 as Items of plant requiring registration in the Work Health and Safety Regulations (General) 2022 (Regulation 246):

  • Boilers categorised as hazard level A, B or C according to criteria in Section 2.1 of AS 4343:2014 (Pressure equipment - Hazard levels); or
  • Pressure vessels categorised as hazard level A, B or C according to the criteria in Section 2.1 of AS 4343:2014 (Pressure equipment - Hazard levels), except -gas cylinders, LP Gas fuel vessels for automotive use and serially produced vessels. For example, average to large size air receivers, such as those on workshop compressors, typically require registration.

Section 42 of the Work Health and Safety Act 2020, requires the plant is not used at a workplace if the plant or its design not authorised in accordance with the regulations.

More information on plant and design registration can be found at Frequently asked questions - Registration of plant design and item of plant

How do I register the design for pressure equipment or a gas cylinder?

Certain types of pressure equipment require design registration under Regulation 243.

The following are items of plant listed in Schedule 5 Division 1 as plant requiring registration of design in the Work Health and Safety Regulations (General) 2022 (Regulation 243):

  • Pressure equipment, other than pressure piping, and categorised as hazard level A, B, C or D according to the criteria in Section 2.1 of AS 4343:2014 (Pressure equipment — Hazard levels).
  • Gas cylinders covered by Section 1 of AS 2030.1:2009 (Gas cylinders — General requirements).

The application for design registration for pressure equipment the design must demonstrate that the design either comply with published technical standards or engineering principles. The application must include representational drawings of the plant.

Compliance with the Australian Standards for Pressure Equipment (AS/NZS 1200) is not legislated, however is considered reasonably practicable. Alternatively, recognised international industry standards may be utilised (eg ASME, AS, EN). However, the standard should be used in its entirety (ie designers should not “cherry-pick” elements of standards).

If engineering principles are used for the design application, records need to be retained in accordance with Regulation 229.

Section 42 of the Work Health and Safety Act 2020 requires the plant is not used at a workplace if the plant or its design not authorised in accordance with the regulations.

More information on plant design registration may be found at How do I register my plant design?

I provide a consultancy service, such as: Plant inspection; Plant design; Verification of plant design am I a WHS Service Provider under s. 26A of the Act?

Yes, it is likely you are a WHS Service Provider, if your service has all of the following characteristics:

  • it relates to work health and safety
  • it is intended to address the elimination of a hazard or control of a risk
  • it is provided by a PCBU (the WHS service provider) to another PCBU (the recipient)
  • it is provided in relation to a specific workplace or workplaces.

Further guidance on WHS Service Providers is available - Duty of persons conducting business or undertakings that provide services relating to work health and safety - interpretive guideline

Are push sticks required for panel or bench saws?

Yes.  Push sticks are devices that minimise the risk of operators making contact with the rotating blade on a bench or panel saw.  The push sticks should be readily available to the operator of bench or panel saws.

Can I use compressed air to blow off the dust on my clothes?

No.  This is a dangerous practice and has the potential to seriously injure a person or cause death.  The compressed air can easily enter the blood stream through a cut or abrasion.  When the compressed air penetrates the skin it is carrying all the particulates, toxins and oils created during the compression of air.

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