High Risk Work Licence – Earthmoving machinery used as crane

WA Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety

The Work Health and Safety Act 2020 and accompanying regulations (WHS laws) commenced on 31 March 2022.

The Work Health and Safety (General) Regulations 2022 (WHS General Regulations) impose a new requirement for the operators of earthmoving machinery to hold a high risk work licence (HRWL) for crane operation if the equipment is used as a crane. The Work Health and Safety (Mines) Regulations 2022 (the WHS Mines Regulations) also include the requirement for operators of earthmoving machinery on mines to hold an HRWL.

The WorkSafe Commissioner has consulted with industry regarding the impact of the new requirements, and amendments to the WHS Regulations have been approved by the Minister for Industrial Relations to:

  • remove the requirement for an HRWL when earthmoving machinery that has a rated safe working load of three tonnes or less is used as a crane; and
  • for earthmoving machinery exceeding a rated safe working load of three tonnes, the HRWL requirement will be modified to align with the nature of the machinery to be operated:
    • for equipment that is non-slewing the appropriate HRWL will be “crane and hoist operation, non-slewing mobile crane” (CN); and
    • for equipment that is capable of slewing, the appropriate HRWL will be “crane and hoist operation, mobile crane, basic” (C2).

A two-year transition period will be implemented for HRWLs from commencement of the WHS laws. This means the operators of the earthmoving machinery will not require the HRWL until after 30 March 2024.

Until the new amendments come into force, the WorkSafe Commissioner will apply the principles in the Statement of Regulatory Intent to the earthmoving crane HRWL requirements at workplaces where the WHS General Regulations and WHS Mines Regulations apply.

The Minister for Industrial Relations has also asked the WorkSafe Commissioner to undertake broad industry consultation with affected industries to develop the best approach to implement the earthmoving machinery requirement for an HRWL during the transition period. Opportunities for stakeholders to participate in the consultations will be promoted on the DMIRS website and newsletter. If you have not already done so, and you would like to receive information about the consultations, please consider subscribing to the WorkSafe newsletter.

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