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New standards for high risk work to be unveiled in October

29 May, 2007

A new national standard for licensing persons performing high risk work will take effect in WA in October.

While national regulations are expected to be in place in July 2007, the new standard will take effect in Western Australia in October 2007.

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.

Scaffolding, dogging and rigging, and crane, hoist and pressure equipment operation are all covered by the new licence.

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

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

While the new licence scheme will apply from October 2007, existing Certificates of Competency will continue to be recognised for a limited time.  People holding current Certificates of Competency will have up to five years to get their certificate converted to a licence.

WorkSafe WA Commissioner Nina Lyhne said the new standard aimed to ensure an effective licensing regime and national consistency.

“The new licensing system offers 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 can be obtained by telephoning WorkSafe on 9327 8923.