Machinery and plant standard


This standard applies to all members of the University community (including staff members, contractors and other workers, students and visitors), at all University workplaces and/or wherever University-owned or controlled machinery or plant is operated.


To ensure:

  • Potential hazards are identified.
  • Appropriate controls are put in place.
  • Appropriate information from any incidents is captured.

This standard states the minimum requirements for
the operation and management of machinery and plant within a workplace.

Further information on how to meet this standard
can be found in the Machinery and Plant Guidelines.


Workplaces within the University vary widely in the risks they expose people to, from relatively benign offices and classrooms, to potentially hazardous workshops and plant rooms

The University has a duty of care to ensure that people are not harmed or affected by the University’s activities, and  the intention is to accomplish this through having safer people, safer equipment, and safer workplaces.

Where applicable, workplaces must comply with other University standards and protocols (such as safe methods of use, hazardous substance controls, lone work protocols and work after normal working hours protocols, etc.) and with other industry Approved Codes of Practice and guidance material (such as best practice guidelines for the safe use of machinery, ACOP for cranes, etc.).



1. People within or associated with a workplace must be aware of their roles and responsibilities.

2. People entering a workplace must be inducted to a level that reflects their role, and the level of risk within the workplace.

3. People using machinery and plant must be trained (be provided with the skills, capabilities and competencies) to a level that reflects their role and the level of risk associated with the machinery and plant being used.

4. People using machinery and plant within a workshop must be trained (ie be provided with the skills, capabilities and competencies) to a level that reflects their role and the level of risk associated with the machinery and plant being used, as per the Workshop Machinery and Plant Competency Matrix.

5. People must not use machinery and plant if they have not received the required training.

6. Where training to operate machinery and plant is required, workplaces must maintain a record of training.

7. People must not use machinery and plant if they are under the influence of alcohol or recreational drugs. 

8. People using machinery and plant must comply with any applicable Safe Work Instruction, and other applicable source of information that is needed to perform work safely.

9. People using machinery and plant must wear the personal protective equipment that is specified in any applicable Safe Work Instruction, or other applicable source of information.

10. People using machinery and plant must comply with any reasonable instruction from the workplace supervisor.

11. People must not use machinery and plant if they require supervision and a supervisor is not present.


12. Machinery and plant should not be purchased or otherwise obtained if a safer alternative is available.

13. Machinery and plant must comply with applicable Australian/New Zealand Standards, or other relevant industry safety specifications that meet or exceed those requirements. This includes items manufactured by the University.

14. A risk assessment must be carried out to identify the risks associated with specific potentially harmful machinery and plant.

15. Any risks identified in a risk assessment must be controlled so the residual risk is as low as is reasonably practicable.

16. Any machinery and plant with a residual risk level greater than moderate must not be used.

17. Machinery and plant must be installed, checked, inspected, cleaned, maintained and adjusted in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions.

18. Where machinery and plant within a workplace require recorded scheduled servicing, maintenance activities must be recorded.

19. Defective machinery and plant is to be taken out of service as soon as defects are identified.

20. Machinery and plant being decommissioned must be disposed of in accordance with the University’s Waste and Sustainability Policy.


21. Workplace access must be controlled in an appropriate manner as determined by the level of risk.

22. As far as is reasonably practicable, workplaces must provide a good working environment.

23. As far as is reasonably practicable, workplaces must maintain a satisfactory level of housekeeping.

24. Where required, workplace environments and the health of workers must be monitored.

25. Where applicable, workplaces must make safety information readily available and must display Safe Work Instructions and appropriate safety signage.

26. Workplaces must have emergency response plans in place to deal with emergencies that are likely to occur.

27. Workplaces must record and report incidents as per University policy.


The following definitions apply to this document:

Control is an item or action designed to remove a hazard or reduce the risk.

Hazard refers to anything that has the potential to cause harm (injury or ill-health) or damage to property or equipment in connection with a work activity.

Incident is any unplanned event or occurrence resulting in, or having a potential for injury, ill-health, damage or other loss.

Induction is a formal process to inform a person entering a workplace of local rules, procedures and safe work practices that will enable the person to safely carry out work, study or research. The level of the information provided may vary to cater for a person’s role (visitor, student, contractor, staff member etc.), or the level of risk within a workplace.

Machinery is a collective term for machines and their parts. A machine is considered to be any powered apparatus that has interrelated parts and is used to perform work.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) refers to anything used or worn by a person (including clothing) to minimise risks to the person’s health and safety. PCBUs have a duty to provide PPE, and also related duties covering selecting, using/wearing, maintaining, repairing and replacing PPE.

Plant includes:

  • Any machinery, vehicle, vessel, aircraft, equipment (including personal protective equipment), appliance, container, implement, or tool; and
  • Any component of any of those things, and
  • Anything fitted or connected to any of those things.

Risk refers to the likelihood a hazard will cause harm (injury, ill-health or damage) multiplied by the degree of harm that is likely to result (consequence).

Residual risk is the risk that remains after controls have been applied to a hazard.

Risk assessment is the process of evaluating the risk(s) arising from a hazard(s), taking into account the adequacy of any existing controls, and deciding whether or not the risk(s) is acceptable.

Role is an indication of a person’s competency when interacting with machinery and plant. Typical roles within a workplace are: supervisor, operator, and user.

Safe Methods of Use are University-developed protocols that detail safe work methods for laboratories and high risk substances, such as: chemicals, compounds, cryogenic fluids, mercury etc.

Safe Work Instruction(s) are written instructions to inform users of potentially harmful equipment about mandatory PPE, associated potential risks, prohibited actions, and actions that must be taken before use, during use and after use of the equipment.

University means the University of Auckland and includes all subsidiaries.

Visitor refers to any person lawfully entering a workplace, who is not authorised to use or operate the machinery or plant within.

Workplace is any physical location in which work-related activities under the control of the organisation are performed. 

Workshop is any workplace specifically set up to manufacture, repair or service items with the use of machinery or plant.

Key relevant documents

Document Control
Version: 1.0
Last Updated: Dec 2019
Next Review: Dec 2022
Approver: Associate Director, Health Safety & Wellbeing