Compliance code: Plant - Key changes

A guide to explain recent updates to the plant compliance code.


Key changes for 2019/20

The Minister for Workplace Safety, Jill Hennessy, approved minor amendments to 11 compliance codes (codes) made under the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 (OHS Act), which includes the Plant compliance code.

The minor amendments were made to:

  • reflect amendments to section 35 and 36 of the OHS Act by the Treasury and Finance Legislation Amendment Act 2018
  • improve style and branding consistency across the existing codes.

Change summary

Paragraph 25

Insert additional content (bold) and replace OHS Act reference to s36 with reference to s35:

"Employers who are required to consult on a matter must share information about the matter with employees, including relevant contractors and HSRs, give them a reasonable opportunity to express their views, and take those views into account before making a decision. If employees are represented by an HSR, the consultation must involve that HSR (with or without the involvement of the employees directly). If the employer and the employees have agreed to procedures for undertaking consultation, the consultation must be undertaken in accordance with those procedures. OHS Act s35".

Breakout boxes under paragraphs 318, 351, 384

Replace “health and safety” with “health or safety”

Front cover

Update front cover to 'Edition 2'.

Back cover

Update back cover with new head office phone and address.

Update translation service contact details.

Key changes for 2018/19

The Plant compliance code 2018 came into effect on 15 March 2018. It replaces the Plant code of practice, 1995. The new code is based on the old code and is designed to:

  • be easy to read and use
  • align with the Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2017 (OHS Regulations)
  • reflect modern work practices and state of knowledge
  • align with other updated compliance codes

Reference and style changes

The new code includes some standard updates:

  • New references to relevant legislation when legal duties apply.
  • Additional cross-references to make related information easier to find in the code.
  • Information about Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 (OHS Act) duties as well as OHS Regulations duties.

How to use this guide

The differences between the old and new codes are outlined in the following sections.

The sections reflect the new layout for the codes. Following these sections is a table that lists the headings of the old and new code for ease of comparison for duty holders.

Part 1 – Introduction

What has changed

The key changes include:

  • references to employees and persons who install, erect or commission plant in the 'Application' section
  • new guidance on duties under the OHS Act for plant which is not covered by the OHS Regulations

The removal of:

  • specific examples of plant that are not within the scope of the OHS Regulations
  • definitions, background and objectives

New general guidance on:

  • duty holders
  • the risk management process for consistency with other compliance codes
  • the risk management process summarised for all duty holders
  • the 'Consultation' section updated for consistency with other compliance codes

the redraft and update of the 'Information, instruction, training and supervision' section for consistency with other compliance codes.

Part 2 – Duties of designers, manufacturers and suppliers

What has changed

The key changes include additional guidance about:

  • designers' duties and design considerations
  • matters that should be considered by designers when complying with their duties
  • manufacturers' duties
  • supplier duties
  • substantial streamlining of the 'Controlling risk' section, including the removal of specific information on ergonomic considerations

New guidance about:

  • operator controls
  • emergency stop devices
  • warning devices
  • testing and examination
  • design registration
  • manufacturer duties and supplier duties under the OHS Act
  • providing information
  • used plant, identifying unserviceable components, and circumstances in which suppliers take on designer/manufacturer duties
  • the types of information that can be provided
  • hire purchase agreements
  • supply of tractors and roll-over protection
  • agents who sell plant

Information that has been removed includes:

  • detailed guidance on information to be provided to the manufacturer
  • examples of potential harm and figure one from hazard identification

There is also substantial streamlining of the 'Using published technical standards section', renamed to 'Technical standards in the new code'.

Part 3 – Duties of employers

What has changed

The key changes include substantial streamlining of the:

  • 'How to identify hazards' section
  • the 'Risk control' section in the old code, now the 'Controlling risks: general duty' section in the new code
  • 'Use of guarding as a measure to control risk – guard design' section in the old code, now the 'Environmental factors' section in the new code

Substantial redrafting to the:

  • 'Categorisation of risk control measures' section in the old code, now the 'Hierarchy of control and elimination of risks' section in the new code, for consistency with other codes
  • 'Guarding as a measure to control risks – guarding hierarchy (interlocked physical barrier)' section in the old code, now the 'Interlocked physical barrier' section in the new code
  • 'Electrical plant and plant exposed to electrical hazards' section.

The removal of:

  • examples of potential harm
  • recording risk assessments
  • published technical standards relating to control of risks associated with plant use
  • the example of plant not designed to lift or suspend people

New guidance about:

  • maintaining risk controls
  • review of risk controls
  • colour coding
  • removal of guarding
  • guarding and insulation from heat and cold
  • isolation procedures
  • operator controls
  • emergency stop devices
  • warning devices
  • automatic audible alarms
  • motion sensors
  • lights
  • flashing lights
  • percussion alarms
  • radio sensing devices
  • air horns
  • controlling the risk of mobile plant overturning
  • controlling the risk of exposure to falling objects
  • controlling the risk of operator ejection
  • controlling the risk of collisions
  • operator protective devices
  • blind spots for operators on powered mobile plant
  • roll-over protection on tractors
  • lifting attachments
  • controlling risks to the operator
  • controlling risks to passengers
  • warning devices on industrial lift trucks
  • lifts
  • notice of rated capacity of lift
  • tower cranes
  • purchasing new plant
  • hiring or leasing duties
  • transporting plant
  • making changes to using plant in the workplace
  • inspecting plant
  • conducting inspections, maintenance and cleaning
  • employer duties

A new section about 'Controlling risks: specific risk control'

Additional guidance about:

  • sources of hazards and systems of work
  • types of physical barriers
  • complying with duty and cross reference to types of warning device
  • on providing information where plant is placed in storage, and the testing and inspection of plant when recommissioning it after an extended period of storage
  • risk controls that should be considered during installation, erection and commissioning of plant
  • risk control measures
  • positioning plant in the workplace

An employer's duty to:

  • provide information to an employee involved in the installation, commissioning, decommissioning, and dismantling of plant
  • provide training
  • keep record of inspection and maintenance
  • identify any hazards inherent in the process of decommissioning and dismantling plant
  • consult


  • related to high risk work licences
  • when reselling or scrapping plant
  • of a person who installs, erects or commissions plan

Definition of:

  • guarding
  • fixed guard
  • pressure sensing safeguarding system
  • industrial lift truck
  • theatrical performance
  • scaffold
  • suspended scaffold

Additional examples provided on how to comply with duty.

Part 4 – Plant design registration

What has changed

The key changes include new guidance about:

  • design registration
  • registration of altered plant designs
  • recognition of interstate designs
  • making a design registration application

Additional guidance on the duties of the design verifier and person who applies for the registration of a plant design.


What has changed

The key changes include the addition of:

  • 'Appendix A – The compliance framework' for consistency with other compliance codes
  • new guidance on plant requiring registration of design in Appendix B
  • a new hazard checklist
  • definitions from Appendix 1 to relevant sections of the new code
  • information from Appendix 6 into relevant sections of the code

The removal of:

  • standards in the compliance code; guidance from Appendix 2 has been consolidated into Appendix C
  • Appendix 4 and 5

Substantial alterations to Appendix 3 guidance to now become Appendix D.

Comparison between the old code of practice and new compliance code

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