New minimum training standard for elevating work platforms in SA

18 May, 2017

South Australia has introduced a new minimum standard of training to reduce the risk of injuries and fatalities for workers using elevating work platforms.

SafeWork SA has developed the standard in collaboration with unions, the building industry, training organisations and the EWP Association. SafeWork SA inspectors will use the new standard as evidence of adequate training being provided to workers.

Elevating work platforms (EWPs) are mobile items of plant used to lift or lower people and equipment by a telescopic, hinged or articulated device. They include scissor lifts and boom lifts.

In addition to undergoing training or obtaining a high-risk work licence for some EWPs, workers must receive familiarisation training on each type of EWP they will be using because the features are different on each model.

SafeWork SA Acting Executive Director Dini Soulio said the new standard was developed by a sub-committee of South Australia’s Industrial Relations Consultative Council.

The sub-committee – made up of representatives of SafeWork SA and key stakeholders – was established in April 2016 following two deaths involving scissor lifts at the new Royal Adelaide Hospital construction site.

"Tragic incidents in South Australia and interstate involving EWPs led to the identification of three areas of action for improving safety," Soulio said.

The first – collaborating on improved guidance material to raise awareness about safe operation – has been completed and provided to industry. The second, the new minimum standard, looked at improving training requirements. The third supports the development of plant engineering controls, which is a longer-term focus area.

"The new standard will assist business operators in complying with their work health and safety responsibilities and explain what workers must know and understand before they operate an EWP.

"Business operators need to know that just because a worker has a high-risk work licence or recognised training, these do not remove the duty to ensure that an EWP is appropriate for the work being carried out and that the work is conducted in a safe way."

Although most EWPs are used in construction, the new standard applies to all industries.

Information on the new minimum standard of training can be found here. The previously supplied guidance material has also now been translated into Mandarin.

SafeWork SA’s Educator team will run a three-month education campaign on the new standard.