Plant includes: 

  • machinery – for example, conveyors, cranes and forklifts 

  • equipment – for example, quad bikes, lifts and scaffolds 

  • appliances – for example, computers 

  • containers – for example, shipping containers  

  • implements – for example, planting machines 

  • power tools – for example, drills and saws 

It also refers to components of, or anything fitted or connected to, those things. 

Injuries from plant 

Every year, plant causes injuries and deaths. The risks of plant include: 

  • amputated limbs from unguarded moving parts 

  • being crushed 

  • injuries from falls while accessing, using or maintaining plant 

  • electric shocks from energised plant 

  • musculoskeletal problems from manually handling or using poorly designed plant 

  • burns or scalds from exposure to hot surfaces, flames or liquids. 

  • hearing loss from noisy plant. 

People who have WHS duties with plant 

You have work health and safety (WHS) duties to manage plant risks if you design, make, import, supply or use plant. 

A plant designer can be: 

  • an engineer 

  • an industrial designer 

  • a designer of plant systems 

  • anyone who modifies plant if the someone else didn’t design the modification. 

A plant manufacturer is anyone who manufactures plant that someone might use for work. 

A plant importer or supplier can be anyone who imports or supplies plant that someone might use for work. 

This includes plant used: 

  • at a workplace, such as power tools or computers 

  • as a workplace, such as a crane or scaffold. 

Registering plant design and items 

You must register certain types of plant design and items. 

Schedule 5 of the WHS regulations lists plant design and items of plant that need registration.  

A manufacturer can only make plant from a design if it’s registered. A supplier can only supply plant if its design and relevant items are registered. 

How to register plant design and items 

The designer or person with management of control of the item of plant can seek registration. 

Your local WHS regulator has information on registering plant design and items in your jurisdiction – how to do it and who can perform inspections. 

Registerable plant design 

You must register certain types of plant design.  

If a design becomes altered in a way that affects health and safety, you must register the altered design. 

Before applying for registration, you must seek an eligible design verifier to: 

  • confirm the design complies with the relevant technical standards or engineering principles 

  • verify the plant design in writing 

  • give you a design registration number, which you give to anyone you supply with the plant. 

Registerable plant items 

If you manage or control plant, you must ensure all registrable plant items have separate registration. You must not use these items until they’re registered. 

Before applying for registration, you must:  

  • get a copy of the design registration from the plant supplier 

  • seek a competent person to inspect a plant item before registration and confirm in writing that the plant is safe to operate.  

Plant item registration is valid for 5 years. 

The item registration number must be on the plant where it’s easy to see.