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New national licensing standard for people in high risk work

06 October, 2006

A new national standard for licensing persons performing high risk work will take effect next year.

WorkSafe WA Commissioner Nina Lyhne said today that the new standard was a way of ensuring an effective licensing regime and national consistency.

“Western Australia is committed to a national approach for the licensing of high risk work, and this new standard provides exactly that,” Lyhne said.

The National Licensing Standard will replace the current Certificate of Competency with a “licence”, renewable every five years and covering all work currently considered to be high risk.

This includes work such as scaffolding, dogging and rigging, and crane, hoist and pressure equipment operation.

A significant change in WA will be that forklift operators will require a licence.  Currently, WorkSafe issues national Certificates of Competency for forklift operation on a non-compulsory basis.

The objective of the new national licensing standard is to ensure that workers have the skills and knowledge to perform high risk work safely and competently.

The new licence will be required as from July 1, 2007, but existing Certificates of Competency will continue to be recognised for a limited transition period to allow these certificates to be converted.

“This new licensing system will provide the twin benefits of national consistency and portability, while also addressing concerns in some sectors with the current system of certification,” Lyhne said.

“The high quality training and assessment that will be required for a licence will contribute to improving occupational safety and health across Australia by ensuring that workers in high risk jobs are properly trained and skilled.”

Further information on the new licensing requirements and copies of the new standard can be obtained by telephoning WorkSafe on 9327 8777 or on the website at <a target="_blank" href="http://www.worksafe.wa.gov.au" target="_blank">www.worksafe.wa.gov.au</a>.

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