Safe Procurement and Acquisition of Plant and Equipment Procedure

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1.0    Purpose and Scope

This procedure outlines The University of Queensland’s (UQ) requirements for the safe procurement and acquisition of plant. For the purposes of this procedure, plant includes any machinery, equipment, appliance, container, implement and tool, and includes any component or anything fitted or connected to any of those things. The definition of plant is provided in the appendix.

The purpose of this procedure is to ensure UQ, as far as reasonably practicable, eliminates or minimises health and safety risk associated with the procurement or acquisition and upkeep of plant across its lifecycle. The plant lifecycle includes acquisition, installation, commissioning, use, inspection, maintenance, alteration, repair, decommissioning, dismantling and disposal.

The requirements of this procedure apply to new and used plant utilised for UQ purposes that is procured or acquired by UQ, including plant that is:

  • purchased, hired, leased, borrowed or received as a gift;
  • acquired with funding obtained through research grant funding schemes, UQ internally-funded initiatives and other schemes. Further information is outlined in the Contract Research and Grants Financial Management Procedure; or
  • otherwise obtained by legal means.

This procedure applies to UQ workers on all UQ campuses and sites. For the purposes of this procedure, the definition of UQ workers is broad to ensure UQ meets its responsibilities under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (WHS Act). The definition of UQ workers is provided in the appendix.

1.1.1   Exclusions

The requirements of this procedure do not apply to:

  • plant that relies exclusively on manual power for its operation and is designed to be primarily supported by hand (e.g. manual powered hand tools, utensils and trollies);
  • general office equipment (e.g. PCs, laptops, tablets and printers used primarily for administrative tasks); or
  • kitchen appliances and equipment (e.g. kettles and toasters).

1.2    Additional information

This procedure should be read in conjunction with UQ’s Procurement Policy and procedures, and the following plant procedures and guidelines:

2.0    Process and Key Controls

The following requirements apply to UQ workers when proposing to acquire or procure plant at UQ:

  1. Comprehensive pre-acquisition checks and planning must be undertaken before acquiring or procuring plant (refer to section 3.1), including ensuring that the goods proposed for acquisition are to agreed specifications, and meet statutory requirements and Australian Standards.
  2. Before acquiring plant, a risk assessment must be completed in UQSafe where it is reasonable to foresee the introduction of new risks and/or increase in existing risks.
  3. UQ workers, Managers and Supervisors are responsible for checking goods received and promptly addressing any faults, damage in transit or inconsistencies.

3.0    Key Requirements

3.1    Pre-acquisition checks and planning

UQ workers, managers and supervisors are responsible for conducting checks and planning before any plant and equipment is acquired by UQ. Pre-acquisition checks and planning include ensuring that:

  • relevant stakeholders are consulted (e.g. UQ workers that will be using the plant, HSW Managers, WHSCs);
  • consideration is given to sourcing the plant domestically before sourcing internationally (as an importer of plant, UQ is legally obliged to meet certain requirements of the WHS Act);
  • P&F Division is consulted (e.g. on how the plant can be safely installed, commissioned, used, inspected, maintained, altered and repaired in the location);
  • all plant meets relevant Australian Standards and legislative requirements (for example, in relation to electrical installation, machinery, pressure equipment, laboratory safety);
  • information is requested from the supplier to demonstrate –
    • calculations, analysis, testing or examination has been carried out;
    • each purpose for which the plant was designed or manufactured; and
    • any conditions necessary to ensure that the plant is without health and safety risks when used for a purpose for which it was designed or manufactured;
  • necessary resources and infrastructure are available to safely receive, install and use the plant; and
  • consideration has been given to –
    • elimination or minimisation of risks referred to in the WHS Regulation (noise emission, hazardous manual tasks, and confined space), and any others outlined in their respective codes of practice,
    • requirements for guarding, operation controls, emergency stop controls and warning devices,
    • competency, licensing, accreditation, training and induction requirements.

These pre-acquisition checks should be recorded as being undertaken by using a Procurement Brief.  A Procurement Brief can be used to create this record, even in circumstances where a Procurement Brief is not strictly required by the Procurement Procedure.

3.2    Risk Management

When acquiring plant and equipment, a risk assessment must be completed in UQSafe where it is reasonable to foresee the introduction of new risks and/or increase in existing risks (refer to the Health and Safety Risk Assessment Procedure).

The requirement for completing a risk assessment prior to the use of plant and equipment is outlined in the Safe Use of Plant and Equipment Procedure.

3.3    Receiving goods

When goods have been received, the UQ worker that requested acquisition of the plant must check:

  • the purchase order or design specifications and report any inconsistencies to their Manager or Supervisor; and
  • the plant’s supporting information, as requested from the supplier, has been received (as per section 3.1).

4.0    Roles, Responsibilities and Accountabilities

4.1    Heads of Organisational Units

Heads of Organisational Units are responsible for overseeing the safe procurement and acquisition of plant in their area of responsibility, including ensuring that relevant UQ workers are aware of and comply with the requirements of this procedure. Heads of Organisational Units are responsible for ensuring:

  • allocation of adequate resources;
  • delegation of responsibilities to suitably trained and experienced staff;
  • local operational plans, procedures and practices have been developed and are in place;
  • plant procurement and acquisition are considered at relevant staff and committee meetings;
  • information is available to relevant UQ workers about plant procurement and acquisition procedures and practices;
  • all requirements of section 24 of the WHS Act are satisfied prior to the importation of plant;
  • risk management of plant procurement and acquisition is continuously monitored and improved; and
  • requests from UQ workers to procure or acquire plant comply with this procedure.

4.2    Managers and Supervisors

Managers and Supervisors are responsible for:

  • ensuring an appropriate selection of plant is made, before it is acquired or procured, consistent with the hierarchy of risk controls;
  • ensuring stakeholders that may be affected by the proposed acquisition of plant have been consulted and resolving concerns (e.g. stakeholders may include Health and Safety Representatives, local area Work Health and Safety Coordinators (WHSCs), Infrastructure Managers and UQ staff);
  • ensuring the P&F Client Facility Manager has been consulted if the plant is to be connected to building services, or safety devices or sensors are to be added to P&F’s preventative maintenance schedule;
  • checking that UQ workers proposing to acquire or procure plant have –
    • referred to the Safe Procurement of Plant and Equipment Guideline <link>,
    • followed the pre-acquisition and planning requirements of this procedure (section 3.1), and
    • completed the Safe Procurement of Plant and Equipment form < link> if required (section 3.3);
  • ensuring all required approvals and authorisations have been obtained to acquire or procure the plant;
  • ensuring that any reported faults, damage in transit or inconsistencies are investigated and resolved before the plant is commissioned and used; and
  • ensuring that prior to the use of plant –
    • a risk assessment that adequately addresses identified risks has been submitted and approved in UQSafe, and
    • any control measures identified in the risk assessment are implemented.

4.3    Budget Holders

Before approving the acquisition of plant, Budget Holders are responsible for ensuring:

  • a Procurement Brief, with all relevant acknowledgements from the Procurement Co-ordinator, has been completed
  • health and safety risks of the plant proposed to be acquired will be adequately controlled and managed, and a risk assessment in UQSafe has been submitted and approved;
  • stakeholders including local area WHSCs, Infrastructure Managers, P&F Client Facility Managers, or other relevant staff have been consulted to resolve concerns before the acquisition is authorised;
  • UQ’s Procurement Policy and associated procedures have been followed; and
  • proposed expenditure and associated agreement with suppliers complies with UQ’s Schedules of Financial and Contract Delegations and Sub-delegations.

4.4    UQ workers

UQ workers must comply with this procedure and follow the directions and instructions of Managers and Supervisors when proposing to acquire plant. UQ workers are responsible for:

  • undertaking pre-acquisition checks and planning in collaboration with Managers and Supervisors (refer to section 3.1) to ensure an appropriate selection of plant is made, consistent with the hierarchy of risk controls and risk assessment;
  • complying with relevant policies, procedures, standard operating procedures, manuals and other documents associated with the plant;
  • checking the purchase order, design specifications and other supporting information when plant is received (section 3.4) and escalating any faults, damage in transit or inconsistencies to their Manager or Supervisor before the plant is commissioned and used; and
  • developing a risk assessment in UQSafe that adequately addresses identified risks, and implementing any control measures identified, prior to the use of plant.

4.5    HSW Managers and Work Health and Safety Coordinators (WHSC)

HSW Managers and WHSCs are responsible for:

  • providing advice to Heads of Organisational Units, Managers and Supervisors, Budget Holders and UQ workers on the safe procurement and acquisition of plant;
  • assisting with the development of risk assessments for the safe procurement and acquisition of plant; and
  • seeking specialist advice from the HSW Division as required.

4.6    Property and Facilities (P&F) Division

P&F Division is responsible for:

  • advising UQ workers on the connection of the plant to UQ building services and infrastructure;
  • engaging lead contractors for the installation and commissioning of plant requiring connection to UQ building services or infrastructure; and
  • arranging preventative maintenance, servicing and inspection of plant within P&F Division’s responsibility (refer to Safe Use of Plant and Equipment Procedure for more information).

5.0    Monitoring, Review and Assurance

P&F Division and HSW Division will collaboratively review this procedure as required to ensure its accuracy, relevance and effectiveness. Review of the procedure will also be informed by feedback from EP Heads of Organisational Units, Supervisors and Managers.  

HSW Division and P&F Division will conduct periodic audits in conjunction with Organisational Units for compliance with this procedure, which may include: 

  • the existence, adequacy and review of plant risk assessments; 
  • UQ worker compliance with this procedure; and 
  • UQ worker training and competency documentation.

Local HSW Managers and WHSC will ensure regular inspections (at least annually) are conducted to review appropriate risk controls, including the review of the risk assessments within their areas of responsibility.

6.0    Recording and Reporting

HSW Managers, WHSCs, Managers and Supervisors will report non-compliance with this procedure to the Head of the Organisational Unit, who will notify the HSW Division.

7.0    Appendix

7.1    Definitions

Budget Holder – individual roles assigned in the UniFi financial system to oversee expenditure linked to a specific project or Organisational Unit. The role of Budget Holders is to confirm: goods/services are needed and are for an official UQ purpose; and funds are available and expenditure is within the contract conditions.

Competent person – a person who has acquired through training, qualification or experience, or a combination of these, the training and knowledge and skills to carry out that task.

Plant – includes machinery, equipment, appliances, containers, implements and tools and any components or anything fitted or connected to those things. Plant includes items as diverse as lifts, cranes, computers, machinery, conveyors, forklifts, vehicles, power tools, quad bikes, mobile plant and amusement devices.

UQ worker – for the purposes of this procedure includes:

  • Staff - continuing, fixed-term, research (contingent funded) and casual staff;
  • Visiting academics and researchers;
  • Higher degree by research students.
Chief Property Officer Mr Fabby Ernesta


Safe Procurement and Acquisition of Plant and Equipment Guideline

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1.0    Purpose and Scope

This guideline provides advice on the safe procurement and acquisition of plant at The University of Queensland (UQ). This guideline supports and should be read in conjunction with:

  • Safe Procurement and Acquisition of Plant and Equipment Procedure
  • Safe Use of Plant and Equipment Procedure.

There are many considerations for selecting plant to ensure risks across the life of the plant are adequately controlled. The procurement process consists of three phases: planning, sourcing and managing. Consideration of risks to the health and safety of staff and students must be made in each if these phases to ensure safe plant is procured and acquired.

2.0    Risk management

The early and systematic identification and assessment of plant safety risks allows for the development of plans and controls to address these risks. Risks must be managed across the life of plant from selection to disposal.

Prior to acquisition and throughout the procurement process, consideration must be given to risks arising from all stages of the life of plant. Following the requirements in the Safe Procurement and Acquisition of Plant and Equipment Procedure, the advice in this guideline, and completing the Safe Procurement and Acquisition of Plant Checklist (refer to the appendix) assists with this task.

Prior to the use of the plant or equipment, a risk assessment must be developed in UQSafe. The hierarchy of controls must be considered when considering and implementing controls for identified risks. Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), training documentation, and maintenance logs should be developed in conjunction with the risk assessment where relevant for the safe operation, repair and maintenance of the plant. Refer to the Occupational Health and Safety Risk Management Procedure for further information.

3.0    Planning the procurement and acquisition of plant

The planning process is essential to managing risks across the life of plant. The following considerations must be planned for and then later actioned. For example, whilst installation cannot occur until the item of plant has been received, planning needs to occur prior to acquisition to identify, assess and manage safety and financial risks.

3.1    Transport, receiving and storage

Before procuring or acquiring plant, consider how the item will be safely transported, received and stored prior to installation or internal delivery. Relevant considerations include:

  • Size and weight of the item and how it will be delivered and received –
    • Items may be transported on a pallet and require a forklift and competent operator to receive – delivery location is therefore important and must be suitable for forklift operation and truck movement.
    • Larger items may need the use of a crane and competent operator to receive, e.g. they may not fit through doorways or inside lifts.
    • Smaller items may still need a pallet jack, trolley or hoist for their transport and installation.
  • Day and time the item will be delivered and who will be available to receive the item. Provide forewarning the item is to be delivered and specify an accurate and appropriate delivery location.
  • A suitable location to store the item until it is ready for installation. Ensure, for example, that fire exits will not be blocked.

3.2    Licensing, registration and certification

Before procuring or acquiring plant, consider all required licenses, certificates and registrations, including:

  • Registrations for registrable plant (e.g. boilers and pressure vessels) and registrable plant designs (e.g. pressure vessels).
  • Permits or licenses required to possess, use/operate or acquire, transport or dispose the item. For example –
    • Radiation apparatus and premises may require a possession licence, approval and certificates of compliance. A licence or approval for the use, transport and disposal is also often required.
    • High risk work licenses are required to operate forklifts, gantry cranes, boilers and perform dogging and rigging.
  • Verification of installation by a Registered Professional Engineer of Queensland (RPEQ), where relevant. For example, process plant may need structural, mechanical, chemical and /or process safety engineer approval and verification before it is used

3.3    Inspection, maintenance, repair and cleaning

Before procuring or acquiring plant, consider how inspection, maintenance, repair and cleaning will occur safely throughout the life of the plant. Relevant considerations include checking if the plant:

  • needs to be added to a UQ preventative maintenance schedule, with defined inspection and service intervals based on manufacturer’s recommendations;
  • has sufficient access for inspection, maintenance, repair and cleaning once installed; and
  • has adequate means to isolate power, disengage and de-energise prior to inspection, maintenance, repair and cleaning.

3.4    Installation and commissioning

Before procuring or acquiring plant, consider how the item will be safely installed and commissioned. Relevant considerations include:

  • If the plant will be connected to any building services, consult with your Client Facilities Manager (Property and Facilities Division). Services such as gas, ventilation, vacuum, compressed gas, RO water, dust extraction or compressed air are to be considered for availability and adequacy, and if required planned for installation.
  • Electrical supply required, for example phase, volts, amps, hardwiring, IPX rating and/or intrinsic rating. Is appropriate power supply present or does it need to be installed?
  • Ensuring there is sufficient physical space to house, install and operate the item at the intended location.
  • That the item can be safely transported to its location, including in the building lift, through corridors and around corridor corners.
  • The load capacity of the structural flooring, ensuring it is sufficient for the weight of the plant.
  • Whether the plant needs to be installed on a stand, special bench or other supporting structure. Proximity to other equipment and/or how users will interface with the equipment may dictate bench sizes or heights. 
  • Qualifications and competency of the person/s installing the plant.
  • Costs for installation.
  • Suitability of the environment to be installed, including compatibility with facility and other plant. For example, plant installed in a PC2 laboratory, Biosecurity AA, animal facility, clinic room or workshop may require additional consideration.
  • Necessary equipment for installation and who will supply these e.g. forklifts, cranes, trolleys, hoists, tools.

4.0   Selection of Plant

Selecting the most appropriate plant will ensure that unexpected risks are not introduced. Retrofitting equipment with safety controls can be costly, cause delays and may still not offer the same level of protection as well-designed equipment. The selection of appropriate and safe plant is an important part of the procurement process.

4.1    Electrical considerations

Before procuring or acquiring plant, ensure it will be supplied as electrically safe and consider how it will remain in this state. Relevant considerations include:

  • The item is supplied with an Australian power plug and has a Regulatory Compliance Mark (RCM).
  • The equipment can run safely without a backup or uninterruptable power system.
  • The vendor states the item is compliant with AS/NZS 3820 Essential safety requirements for electrical equipment.
  • The equipment is safe to operate without additional electrical protection for the facility.
  • The plant is to be installed in a space where a hazardous area is present. If so, ensuring it is not an ignition source and/or is not installed within the hazardous area.
  • How the equipment will be tested and tagged, both prior to commissioning and on-going (i.e. how will the equipment be accessed during routine testing?).

4.2    Specific hazards

Before procuring or acquiring plant, consider how risks associated with specific hazards will be controlled. All risks that exist during inspection, maintenance, repair, decommissioning and disposal activities should be managed for plant that:

  • Is designed to be operated or energised remotely or automatically.
  • Produces hazardous dusts, fumes, noise or waste (additional engineering controls such as ventilation may be required to be installed prior to use).
  • Includes hydraulic or pneumatic systems.
  • Contains asbestos (e.g. within the mechanism or as insulation).
  • Requires or is intended for use with hazardous chemicals or biologicals, particularly if these are being newly introduced into the work environment.
  • Is an electrical item that will be used in or around water.
  • Is powered mobile plant.

4.3    General considerations

Before procuring or acquiring plant, consider how the item will be safely used. Relevant considerations include:

  • Is it fit-for-purpose and to be used for the same purpose as it was designed? For example, the item is manufactured for commercial, industrial or research applications. Items designed for home use may not be suitable.
  • Compliance with statutory laws and relevant Australian Standards.
  • Installation in a suitable location, in view of work environment layout and lighting.
  • Has the item been supplied with –
    • all required guards, interlocks, lockout/isolation points, safety switches, emergency shutdown buttons and other safety features,
    • a user manual, written in English, and all other required information,
    • required consumables, adaptors or other components that are industry standard.
  • Acceptable plans are in place for safe decommissioning and disposal, at end-of-life.
  • Compatibility with existing activities, substances and equipment.
  • Adequate existing security arrangements to prevent unauthorised access.
  • Adequate controls in place for abnormal situations, for example, foreseeable misuse, fluctuation in operating conditions or emergency situations.

4.4    Training and competency

Before procuring or acquiring plant, consider the training and competency requirements for its operation and maintenance. Relevant considerations include:

  • Any special skills required for people who operate the plant or carry out inspection and maintenance.
  • The correct use of guarding and other control measures.
  • How to safely access and operate the plant.
  • Who may use the item (e.g. only authorised or licensed operators).
  • How to carry out inspections, shut-down, cleaning, repair and maintenance.
  • Traffic rules, rights of way, clearances and no-go areas for mobile plant.
  • Emergency procedures.

5.0    Appendix

5.1    Pre-procurement of Plant Checklist

Complete this checklist during the procurement planning process at UQ. Refer to the Safe Procurement and Acquisition of Plant and Equipment Procedure for more information.

Based on the responses to the questions, a risk assessment in UQSafe may be required to manage risks arising from identified hazards.

Pre-procurement of Plant Checklist

Chief Property Officer Mr Fabby Ernesta
Chief Property Officer Mr Fabby Ernesta