Change To The Requirements For High Risk Work Licences

Under the new work health and safety laws that commenced on 1 January 2012, high risk work licences are no longer required for earthmoving equipment or remotely operated bridge and gantry cranes. However, a person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU) that includes the use of plant must ensure the safe use and operation of those items, including the competency of operators.

Determining the competency of operators should already be a part of employment screening and daily pre-start procedures. A PCBU should consider the following when assessing plant operators:

• Has the worker completed competency based training and assessment on the item of plant in question?
• Can the worker provide evidence of having previously operated the item of plant in question to perform similar tasks in a similar environment?
• Can the worker demonstrate knowledge of pre-start inspection requirements to ensure an item of plant can be operated safely?
• Does the worker have knowledge of the specific risks and control measures associated with the item of plant in question?
• Are there specific hazards or circumstances, associated with either the plant or the activity to be performed, which require specialist knowledge or experience? Does the worker meet this requirement?

Additional supervision or training may be required after an initial assessment, either as a result of the operator’s competence or the specific hazards associated with the task.
PCBUs should maintain records of competency assessments to ensure that evidence can be provided to an inspector or other duty holders if required.

Workplace Health and Safety Queensland is working with the construction industry through the Queensland Major Contractors Association and the Civil Contractors Federation to ensure appropriate guidance and advice is available.

Want to know more or need help? Why not contact Safety Concepts and speak with one of our Safety Consultants.

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