Have you come up with a new way of doing something? Excellent!

If it requires a bit of equipment or machinery, then you’ll want to make sure that it’s safe to use before you start selling it. This is exactly what the Worksafe Certificate for Plant Design Registration is for. It’s quite a mouthful so let’s call it a Plant Design Certificate instead.

What is a Plant Design Certificate?

The Plant Design Certificate is a way of confirming to your buyers that your equipment or machinery is safe to use.

Do you need one?

Yes, you do. If your machinery is listed as new equipment or a revolutionary improvement to old machinery, then you’ll need to get a Plant Design Certificate. If you are unfamiliar with the process, or would like a second pair of eyes to review and prepare your application, you should contact a small business lawyer. A small business lawyer can help you figure out if you need a Plant Design Certificate and can give you advice on the application and registration process.

What is the application process?

You can find specific information regarding the application process, such as fees and lodgement dates, on the WorkCover website at:  https://www.workcover.nsw.gov.au/

The most detailed part of the application form is “Section 3 – Plant Details”. This is where you’ll need to submit all your drawings and other documents that are associated with your new equipment or machinery. There are a couple of things that you’ll need to watch out for. Firstly, if your drawings or directions are in another language, you’ll need to get them translated to English. A digital translator won’t be good enough as these are technical instructions that you’ll need to get professionally translated. Secondly, you’ll need to convert all your documents, including the drawings, into an electronic format.

Depending on the type of equipment or machinery that you want to register, there may be additional questions that you’ll need to answer. If you are in doubt, we suggest speaking with a small business lawyer for clarification.

If you plan on getting the equipment or machinery manufactured, you’ll need to include documents on how it will be manufactured. This all forms part of the application process. If you are unsure about the documents to be included, one of our small business lawyers can help you.


The final part of the application process is the verification. This is Section 6 of the form. The easiest way to verify would be to find someone who is an expert in the use of your equipment or machinery. They are required to confirm that everything is safe and good to go. Please keep in mind that you cannot be your own expert, regardless of how incredible your skills are at using the equipment or machinery.

Now what?

Once you submit your application and everything is good to go, Worksafe will issue you with a Plant Design Certificate. Make sure you hang onto this – you’ll need it to show that the equipment or machinery is safe to use. You’ll also need to provide the number on the Plant Design Certificate to anyone that you sell or supply your equipment or machinery to. This also includes the manufacturer, who will need the number so that they can manufacture the equipment safely and stamp the approved equipment.


Before you start mass-producing your new equipment or machinery, check with us to see if you need a Plant Design Certificate. One of our small business lawyers will be able to have a look for you, and assist you in the application process.

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