Plant at UQ includes machinery, equipment, appliances, containers, implements and tools.

UQ acquires, uses and disposes of a wide variety of plant, and all staff involved in the design, manufacture, acquisition, use, servicing, supply or disposal of plant are required to follow appropriate procedures to ensure:

  • all plant is safe
  • all staff using plant are appropriately trained and competent
  • all plant and plant designs requiring registration are identified and registered
  • all plant is correctly maintained during its lifecycle.

Acquisition and supply


Before plant is acquired, consider what it will be used for and the safety of those who use it.

You must undertake a pre-purchase risk assessment to identify all hazards associated with installation, commissioning and use of the equipment. You must also develop appropriate controls prior to purchase.

For more information, refer to Section 59 (6) of the Work, Health and Safety Regulation 2011. For assistance, contact the HSW Division.


Where plant is designed and manufactured by UQ for supply to external clients, the supplier (University school, centre, institute, etc.) responsible should contact UniQuest for assistance with:

  • intellectual property protection
  • commercialisation of the device
  • preparation of compliance and safe use documentation.

You must also ensure any other documents relating to certifications, testing, safe operating instructions, etc. are transferred to the recipient.

When all paperwork is finalised, keep the original documents and send a copy to the HSW Division.

For more information on plant supply requirements, see the Work Health and Safety Act 2011.

Design verification and certification

Manufacturers of plant at UQ must not supply any plant without appropriate design verification and certification. There are specific obligations to ensure the safe design of plant.

Manufacturers must work closely with designers to identify and correct design flaws. Please consult the Safe Design of Structures Code of Practice found on the WorkSafe Queensland website when designing plant.

Where plant has been modified, a risk assessment should determine if the modification requires the new design to undergo the verification and certification process again. Additional training in safe use may also be required.

Equipment registration

The Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011 requires specific items of plant to be registered with Workplace Health and Safety Queensland. There are also items of plant where design of the plant requires the design to be registered.

Many of these items of plant are managed by the Property and Facilities Division, but all UQ areas should check that any item of plant under their responsibility is registered before use if required.

See Workplace Health and Safety Queensland for more information on what types of plant require registration and plant design registration.


Those responsible for plant and its operation in the local area must maintain a register that includes all high-risk plant and UQ-defined high-risk plant. For more information, contact your area's Workplace Health and Safety Coordinator (WHSC) or Safety Manager.

Plant maintenance

Qualified licensed professionals must carry out maintenance on plant and equipment. This includes the installation, operation and commissioning or repair of plant.

If you would like to request plant maintenance, contact PF Assist.

Laboratory maintenance

To ensure the safety of maintenance staff when requesting plant maintenance in laboratories, complete the PF306 Hazards in laboratories form (RTF, 349KB) | (PDF, 170KB).

Performing plant maintenance

Proper lockout tag procedures must be followed when commencing maintenance, and all work must be in accordance with manufacturer specifications.

If you're working with any plant that is deemed unsafe or defective (for example, broken or missing guards), you must:

  1. Take the device out of service by tagging and locking out.
  2. Notify the appropriate supervisor.
  3. Communicate any existing risk to all workers in the area.

Once you have completed maintenance work, removal of lockout tags and devices must be in accordance with the UQ Lockout Tag Out Guidelines (PDF, 400KB).

Safe use of plant

The safe use of plant must be guided by the following codes of practice, which can be viewed on the WorkSafe Queensland website:

  • Managing Risks of Plant in the Workplace Code of Practice 2013
  • Electrical Safety Code of Practice 2013
  • Rural Plant Code of Practice 2004
  • How to Manage Work Health and Safety Risks Code of Practice 2011.

This includes ensuring the following principles are applied in all instances:

  1. Perform risk assessments, including reviewing safety information from the supplier.
  2. Follow competency and licensing requirements.
  3. Complete training for the plant or equipment.
  4. Develop safe work instructions.
  5. Highlight emergency procedures, including shutdowns.
  6. Regularly monitor the effectiveness of the above.

When new processes are implemented, you must review the risk assessment and safe operating procedures. This includes the provision of any additional training required as a result of the process change.

Processes should be reviewed every 5 years to ensure all information is up-to-date.

Fatigue and prescription medication

Fatigue may be a significant factor in operator error and sufficient breaks must be taken during the shift to ensure that operators remain alert.

If you are taking prescription medication, you should follow all relevant safety precautions. For more information, see the Alcohol, Tobacco, Smoking and Other Drugs Policy [2.60.01].

Disposal of plant

Plant must be disposed of safely and in accordance with Section 3.9 of the Managing Risks of Plant in the Workplace Code of Practice 2013 and the UQ Environmental Management System requirements. This includes:

  • selling
  • loaning
  • relocating
  • scrapping.

Under current Queensland legislation, disposers of plant may be regarded as suppliers of plant, and must follow all relevant procedures for supplying plant – see the Acquisition and supply section above for more information.

Plant must be decontaminated or disabled prior to disposal. Stored energy sources from springs, electrical, gravity or hydraulic systems must be disabled or de-energised.

You must supply the relevant safety information (including manuals, testing and maintenance records) to the recipient. Ensure you retain these documents and make copies upon disposal or supply of plant.

Plant that is relocated within the University should be assessed for safe use prior to transfer. The recipient is to undertake a thorough assessment of the plant to ensure that the required standards of safety are met.

If you identify any deficiencies, they must be dealt with in one of two ways:

  • The deficiencies may be remedied to ensure safe use.
  • Prepare a written declaration of deficiencies and what is required to ensure safe use. This includes completing the necessary remedial actions required to be conducted by the recipient prior to initial use. This statement must be signed by the recipient accepting the declaration and kept as a record of actions taken by the disposer.

If you have any questions about the safe use or disposal of plant, contact your area's WHSC or Safety Manager.