Protective Structures on Mobile Plant

The Office of the Federal Safety Commissioner (OFSC) has received a number of queries surrounding the interpretation of the Mobile Plant and Equipment criterion H16.7 - All earthmoving equipment is fitted with compliant ROPS/FOPS and fitted with seatbelts. In response, the following advice has been issued to Federal Safety Officers (FSOs) and related industry bodies to ensure a consistent interpretation of OFSC requirements.

H16.7 ROPS/FOPS:

The intent of the criteria is not that ALL earthmoving equipment is fitted with both Roll Over Protection Structures (ROPS) and Falling Object Protection Structures (FOPS). Earthmoving equipment should meet relevant standards surrounding prescribed requirements for protective structures of any kind. However, where there is no prescribed requirement for ROPS and/or FOPS on a particular type of mobile plant, companies should conduct a risk assessment to determine the need for protective structures, accounting for the manner in which the plant is to be operated. Where any ROPS and/or FOPS are fitted as a result of either a prescribed requirement or specific risk assessment, it is expected that such structures are fitted with compliance plates that are in accordance with the relevant Australian standard or its international equivalent.

If you are unclear of the requirements for a particular piece of equipment, you should consult the relevant state/territory authority.