From 1 January 2012 the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 has effect in the ACT, replacing the Work Safety Act 2008. The information on this page is in the process of being updated to reflect the new Act. Click here for further information on the Act.
Fron 1 January 2013 many items of plant and plant designs will need registration in the ACT. More information is available on our Plant Registration page.
Safety is critical in the operation of plant and equipment such as cranes, forklifts, elevating work platforms, excavators, backhoes, etc.
You should never operate any piece of mobile plant or equipment unless it is part of your job and you have been fully trained and are competent to do so.
Even if you hold a High Risk Work Licence or Certificate of Competency to operate plant or equipment, you must still be provided with any additional information, instruction, training and supervision that is necessary for you to be able to safely carry out your work using the plant and equipment that is available to you.
Safe Operation of Forklifts
Click here for more information about managing the hazards associated with the use of forklifts.
National Standards for Plant
Plant is a major cause of workplace accidents in Australia. There are between 65,000 and 70,000 plant-related workers' compensation claims costing some $550 million in workers' compensation payments each year. In addition, there are over 200 plant-related fatalities every year Australia wide. Because of the risk of injury associated with the use of plant, State and Territory jurisdictions have enacted many measures over the years in order to reduce both the incidence and severity of accidents.
Guidance on the standards for plant can be found in the National Standard for Plant.
High Risk Work Licences
The operation and use of certain types of plant requires the operator to hold a High Risk Work Licence. A High Risk Work Licence is also required to carry out dogging, rigging and scaffolding work.
Persons who hold a current and valid National Certificate of Competency may carry out high risk work as though the certificate were a High Risk Work Licence for the equivalent class(es) of work, but should convert the certificate to a High Risk Work Licence before the certificate expires.
Click here for further information about the types of work which require a High Risk Work Licence.
Click here for further information about carrying out high risk work under a National Certificate of Competency and applying for an ACT High Risk Work Licence.
Licences and Certificates issued in other Australian Jurisdictions
Holders of a current and valid High Risk Work Licence or National Certificate of Competency issued by the workplace health and safety regulator in another Australian jurisdictions may carry out work in the ACT under that licence or certificate.
However, if the licence or certificate contains conditions or restrictions, those conditions or restrictions will apply when carrying out work in the ACT.
High Risk Work Training
All training in high risk work must be delivered in the form of an accredited course or unit of competency provided by a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) that has the relevant competency units added to its scope of registration.
Click here for a list of Registered Training Organisations that provide high risk work training in the ACT.
The RTO is responsible for providing the trainee with a training logbook, which must be returned to the RTO for review before the RTO arranges the assessment of the trainee.
Upon successfully completing the accredited course or unit of competency, including the assessment, the trainee will be issued with a Statement of Attainment. The trainee must then apply for their High Risk Work Licence within 60 days of the date of issue shown on the Statement of Attainment.
Click here for further information about undertaking training in high risk work and applying for an ACT High Risk Work Licence.
Information for Persons/Companies Intending to Install Lifts and Associated Equipment in the ACT
Persons or companies who intend to install lifts, including escalators and moving walks covered by the Lift Code of Australia, need to notify WorkSafe ACT under Regulation 17 of the Scaffolding and Lifts Regulation 1950. They also need to notify WorkSafe ACT if they plan a major alteration, modification or modernisation of existing lift installations.
You will be required to notify WorkSafe ACT by filling in a Notice of Intention (NOI) to Erect a Lift or NOI for Escalator/ Moving Walk, whichever is applicable. For alteration of an existing installation, a letter to WorkSafe ACT listing the scope of works is required.
The following supporting documents need to accompany the completed NOI for new lift installation:
The NOI and accompanying documents must be submitted as electronic or hard copies to WorkSafe ACT. Only one set is required.
Once the NOI to erect a new lift or letter notifying intention to alter a lift is received, an Inspector will review the application to assess the documents and ensure that due processes have been followed according to the Lift Code of Australia in designing the lift. The Inspector may ask for further information to be provided and, at their discretion, conduct a design review of the installation.
Upon satisfying certain criteria, the Inspector will contact the applicant and permit them to commence installation of the lift or associated equipment. The review process will take 5 working days. If any dispensation from a requirement of the Lift Code is sought, the review will take longer to complete.
Once the installation or alteration of a lift, escalator or moving walk is near completion, the installer should contact the Inspector to book a pre-commissioning test.
On a mutually agreed date and time the Inspector shall conduct the pre-commissioning testing and inspection of the lift, escalator or moving walk. The installer will be required to provide assistance to conduct the test. Test weights shall be provided by the installer and the company shall provide two technicians. The installer should check requirements for the test with the Inspector.
Once the test is completed , the installer or building contractor will be required to rectify any issues. When these items are completed the installer should contact the Inspector again to book a final inspection.
If the test/ inspection is satisfactory, the Inspector will inform the installer that they can put the lift/ equipment into service. The Inspector will also issue a certificate stating that the lift/ equipment is satisfactory.
For an inspection or testing of lifts/ equipment, a fee under section 21 of the Scaffolding and Lifts Act 1912 will apply.
For further information contact WorkSafe ACT.
Boilers and Pressure Vessels
Under the ACT Boilers and Pressure Vessels Regulation 1954, steam boilers, compressed air receivers, autoclaves/sterilisers, gas storage vessels and other types of pressure vessels described in AS/NZS 3788:2001 require registration and regular inspection.
It is the owner/operator's responsibility to check whether the plant requires registration and inspection. (Fines do apply).
Registration and inspection of boilers and pressure vessels can be arranged by contacting WorkSafe ACT. An inspection fee is charged.
Air receivers are pressure vessels and are commonly found on air compressors for:
Air receivers can corrode from the inside, due to the moisture present in compressed air. The combination of corrosion and high air pressures can cause them to explode if they are not regularly inspected and maintained.
Note that under the above regulation, air receivers with a capacity greater than 150 MpaL, are required to be registered and inspected every 2 years by WorkSafe ACT. These pressure vessels must not be used unless they are registered and there is a current certificate of inspection in place. For additional information for owners, refer to our Guidance Note - Registration and Inspection of Air Receivers.
How do I obtain a boiler certificate?
A WorkSafe ACT Inspector has to inspect the boiler first. Then you will be invoiced. When we receive your payment, a boiler certificate will posted to you the same day.
How often do boilers and pressure vessels have to be inspected?
Note: the operation of certain types of pressure equipment is defined as "high risk work" under the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011 and requires the operator to hold a High Risk Work Licence or equivalent National Certificate of Competency. Click here to check whether your boiler or pressure vessel requires a licensed operator.
Hot Work Permits
What is "Hot Work"?
"Hot Work" means any work which will be carried out near flammable or explosive material and which creates a significant risk of igniting that material, such as welding carried out near a fuel tank. A number of Australian Standards provide that a person should hold a hot work permit in order to carry out such work.
How do I get a Hot Work Permit?
You will need to provide the person who is charge of the site with a detailed risk assessment which lists the steps that you will take to eliminate, reduce and manage the risks associated with the work, including the risks of igniting the flammable or explosive material in the vicinity of the work.
If the person in charge of the site is satisfied that the risks will be properly managed, he or she should issue you with a hot work permit, confirming that you may carry out the work as specified in the risk assessment.
There is no prescribed format for the permit, and WorkSafe ACT does not issue or approve such permits. However, if a WorkSafe ACT inspector is attending the site, he or she may ask to see any hot work permit and accompanying risk assessment, to establish whether risks are being properly managed.
The following Handbooks are available with regard to plant safety:
The following Guidance Notes are also available:
Go to our Forms Page or click on the link below to access any of the following:
Lifts and Escalator Forms
Crane and Workbox Forms
Go to our WorkSafe ACT Fees page for fees relevant to plant and equipment matters covered on this page.
Frequently Asked Questions
If I don’t have a drivers licence, can I drive a forklift?
You do not need a drivers licence to drive a forklift on a work site, provided that you will not be driving the forklift on a public road. You will still need a High Risk Work Licence or National Certificate of Competency for the Forklift Truck (LF) class of work.
If you will be driving the forklift on a public road, you may need to hold a heavy vehicle drivers licence, which can be obtained from the RTA.
Do I need a licence to operate a scissor lift?
You do not need a licence to operate a scissor lift. However, you do need to be trained in the safe operation of this type of plant so that you can carry out your work safely.
Do I need a licence to operate a “Bobcat” or other loadshifting plant?
You do not need a licence to operate a front-end loader of the skid-steer type such as a "Bobcat" or "Dingo", nor any of the following types of loadshifting plant:
However, you do need to be trained in the safe operation of this type of plant so that you can carry out your work safely, in line with the safety duties of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011. Click here for further information about the requirements for carrying out loadshifting work in the ACT.
Do I need a licence to operate a "work assist vehicle" or "WAVE truck"?
The Occupational Health and Safety (Work Assist Vehicles) Exemption 2009 which was approved under the now-repealed Occupational Health and Safety (Certification of Plant Users and Operators) Regulation 2000 presently remains in effect under the transitional arrangements in Part 20 of the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011.
You do not need a high risk licence to operate a "work assist vehicle" (also known as a "WAVE truck") provided that:
Click here to view or download a copy of the Occupational Health and Safety (Work Assist Vehicles) Exemption 2009.
Do I need a licence to operate an elevating work platform, such as a "cherry picker"?
If you are operating an elevating work platform which incorporates a boom in its design, and the boom length is 11 metres or more when operating unrestricted at its maximum extension, you must hold a High Risk Work Licence or National Certificate of Competency for the Elevating Work Platform (WP) class of work, regardless of whether you are using the plant at its maximum extension.
The boom length of an elevating work platform is the greater of the following two measurements:
A licence is not required to operate an elevating work platform if the boom length is less than 11 metres when operating unrestricted at its maximum extension. However, you do need to be trained in the safe operation of this type of plant so that you can carry out your work safely.
Do I need a licence to be carried as a passenger on an elevating work platform such as a "cherry picker"?
You do not need a High Risk Work Licence or National Certificate of Competency if you are only being carried as a passenger, and you will not be operating the controls at any time.
However, if you may need to operate the controls, you must be trained in the safe operation of this type of plant, and you must hold a High Risk Work Licence or National Certificate of Competency if the elevating work platform has a boom length of 11 metres or more when operating unrestricted at its maximum extension.
Do I need a licence to carry out a maintenance or repair job on plant machinery?
You do not need a High Risk Work Licence or National Certificate of Competency for the operation of plant if you are only operating the plant for the purpose of maintaining, servicing or repairing the plant.
However, if the maintenance, servicing or repair activities include any dogging or rigging work (for example, if trial lifts will be undertaken during maintenance work on a crane), the dogging or rigging work must be carried out by a person who holds a High Risk Work Licence or equivalent National Certificate of Competency for such work.
Do I need a licence to carry out tree lopping and similar activities?
You do not need a High Risk Work Licence or National Certificate of Competency for tree lopping and similar activities if any material cut away from the tree will be lowered manually, using equipment such as ropes, a block and pulley, or similar means.
If the material will be removed using plant fitted with lifting gear such as chains or slings, the person(s) making the following decisions about the work must hold a current and valid High Risk Work Licence or National Certificate of Competency for either dogging or rigging work:
Remember: before undertaking any work, a risk assessment must be carried out, so that risks arising from that work can be identified, assessed and controlled in accordance with the hierarchy of control.
If I hold a licence to operate a crane, can I supervise a person being trained as a dogger or rigger?
A person who is being trained in high risk work such as dogging or rigging must be supervised by a person who holds a current and valid High Risk Work Licence or National Certificate of Competency for that class of high risk work.
A High Risk Work Licence or National Certificate of Competency for the operation of a crane or other plant is not sufficient to allow the licence/certificate holder to supervise a trainee dogger or rigger.
A crane or other plant operator who holds a High Risk Work Licence or National Certificate of Competency which includes endorsements for dogging or rigging work may supervise persons who are being trained in that class of high risk work, but must not be operating the plant and supervising the trainee at the same time.
The supervisor of a high risk work trainee must actively monitor the trainee's performance in carrying out the high risk work, so as to be able to give additional directions if required, and to intervene if the trainee is carrying out the work in an unsafe manner or if an emergency situation occurs. A person who is operating plant such as a crane will not be in a position to actively monitor the trainee's activities during the lifting, movement or placement of a load.