Q&A with WHS Manager Alana Morris

Posted 6 September 2019

Q&A with WHS Manager Alana Morris

Q: Is travel to and from work, covered by Worker’s Compensation in the ACT?

Generally, yes.

A work-related injury is a personal injury, disease or illness arising out of, or in the course, of worker’s employment.

You may be able to claim if;

-          You have an accident at work

-          Contract a disease from work

-          Aggravate a previous injury; or

-          Receive an injury on a journey travelling to or from;

  • Your employment
  • Anywhere is it necessary for you to go to obtain a medical certificate or to receive medical treatment or rehabilitation.

For more information, visit the WorkSafe Portal here


Q: Am I legally required to provide a site-specific induction?

Yes. A PCBU must ensure that all workers are provided with the tools and information necessary to undertake their works in a safe manner.

Workplace specific inductions will vary depending on the type of construction work and the construction phase a project is going through at the time a person comes to the workplace.

For example, at a less complex workplace like a single house site, a workplace specific induction could include a short pre-start induction video and/or on the job training. For a large and complex civil or commercial workplace a more detailed induction would be required, for example to explain the emergency response and evacuation processes.

The recommended information to be provided to workers and other people as required at a workplace induction includes:

-       hazards and risks specific to the workplace such as overhead power lines near the workplace;

-       control measures for those risks such as no-go zones for working near overhead electric lines;

-       site specific rules that must be complied with such as personal protective equipment like hard hats that workers must wear and use;

-       safety documents, policies and plans specific to the workplace such as traffic management plans;

-       who to report accidents, incidents and hazards to and how to report them;

-       accident, emergency and evacuation procedures and associated equipment at the workplace; and,

-       the layout of the workplace including entries and exists, loading and unloading areas, location of facilities, first aid and security requirements.

You should also update people when there are changes to the workplace that may affect health and safety.


Q: What are the benefits of completing a prestart machinery check?

 As a responsible operator, running a pre-start check on your plant or machinery before you start the day is the best way to ensure the job gets done safely and without delay.

Undertaking a pre-start check on your machine before you start a days work, happens in three stages.

Step 1 - Visual inspections of important features prior to starting the machine
Step 2 - Visual & function tests while the machine is turned on but stationary
Step 3 - Testing the machine’s functions during a short drive



The following checks need to be made while the engine is off and we recommend that they are done in the following order.

Important Features

-       Inspect Hydraulic Lifts & Tilt Rams (if applicable) - are these lubricated and carry no damage?

-       Battery - are the bracket terminals secure and clean?

-       Are the battery electrolyte levels correct and caps in place?

-       Is the battery charge sufficient for a day's work?

After these steps there are then a bunch of machine specific steps that are unique to each class of machine that you will need to visually inspect prior to turning the machine on. This involves things like the tracks, booms, arms and ground engaging tools.

Safety Fittings and Features

-       Seat and Seatbelt - working and no damage?

-       Data Plate - is it readable?

-       Warning Decals - are they readable?

-       FOPS & ROPS - are they secure and in good condition?

Coolant, Oil & Fuel Levels

-       Engine Oil Level - correct?

-       Fuel - enough for the day?

-       Transmission Oil Level - correct?

-       Hydraulic Oil Level - correct?

-       Coolant Level Correct for temperature?

-       Fluid Leaks - ensure there are no fluid leaks under the machine

Attachment Security

-       Attachments like Buckets, Brooms, Spreader Bars etc - are they secure and the pins secure?

-       Is there any damage to attachments that is visible? Make a note

-       Ground Engaging Tools and surface (such as tracks, buckets etc) - is the cutting edge loose or worn?

At the end of these basic checks, plus the visual inspections you make that are specific to the machine you are checking, then it’s time to turn the key. Make note of how smoothly it started and whether it’s running well at the point of start.



Now, it's time to get that machine purring and run through the final safety inspections.

General Functions (common to all machines)

-       Horn - does it work? And is there any issue with its volume?

-       Hand Controls - do they operate correctly?

-       Foot Pedals - are they clean and do they operate correctly?

-       Control Panel - are there any issues with warning indicators, lights and gauges?

-       Reversing Beeper - does the machine operate in reverse? And do the beepers work?

-       Lights - do they work? Can they operate on spot or drive mode?

-       Rotating Warning Light - is it operational?

-       Park Break - does it hold the machine on an incline?

After these general checks, we are going to run through a bunch of unique features with your machine - like operating the boom, bucket, rippers or GPS if these are fitted to the machine. We’ll discuss these below.



To complete the final checks you need to drive the machine a small distance.

-       Is the steering working well with no undue noise/stress?

-       Steering clutches - is there no excessive play?

-       Creep - the machine doesn’t creep when controls are neutralised


Alana Morris

E: safety@mba.org.au
M: 0430 052 089

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