Machine safety still a WHS issue in 2014

Last April I wrote about issues associated with with machine guarding. Today’s reports about a young casual worker in Tasmania, who had his fingers crushed when a machine fell on his hand, indicate that machine safety problems are still with us.


In this instance WorkCover stated that the company had been aware of the situation since 2007 and had failed to remedy.    The Hobart Magistrates Court found the company guilty and fined them $20,000. While I am not excusing the company at all, machine safety is an aspect of WHS which can be technically challenging, particularly if you’re not sure where to start.

To get a full understanding of the requirements for machine safety in Australia, it’s necessary to become familiar with AS 4024.1—2006, the Australian Standard for “Safety of Machinery”. This is no mean feat as this single standard is actually made up of 26 individual standards, each covering a particular aspect of machine safety – and that’s just the generic standards that apply to all machinery.

There are also an ever-growing number of AS 4024 part 2 and part 3 standards, covering safety devices and machine types, which are being steadily added to the machine safety standards family.

There is limited independent information available to assist newcomers to this field and tertiary education options in machine safety are virtually non-existent.

The whole issue can become something of a figurative minefield to navigate through the machine safety requirements, and on top of that we also have to consider the operational aspects of the machinery being reviewed.   That’s because it’s a very easy to inadvertently slow a production process, or make a machine virtually unusable for an operator, by applying a machine safety solution that isn’t right for the particular situation.

To simplify the process, and ensure truly independent advice, contact us now for assistance with your machine safety requirements.

Safety Services Australia’s senior consultant, is a qualified mechanical engineer, has a Master of Applied Science in Occupational Safety, Health and Environmental Management, is qualified as Lead Auditor for OHS Management Systems and has fifteen years of experience in the Australian machine safety field and are truly independent of all of the manufacturers.

Our expertise will assist you to develop the right safety solution for your machinery and your process and we’ll work with your preferred manufacturer (if you have one), or the one that has the best solution for your particular situation.

Contact Safety Services Australia on  +61 2 9634 5912 or