SafeWork SA has issued expiation notices to two construction businesses for allowing workers to undertake high risk work without the appropriate high risk work licence.


On 15 November 2021, SafeWork SA received notification that a vehicle loading crane overturned during the unloading of a stillage containing electrical conduits. The investigation found that the operator did not hold the relevant licence to operate the vehicle loading crane or to perform dogging work.

On 18 November 2021, SafeWork SA received notification via Facebook of unsafe installation of an industrial shed using a forklift. The investigation found amongst other unsafe practices, that the worker did not hold the relevant licence to operate the forklift truck, or to perform basic rigging.

Unlicensed worker on a forklift performing high risk work

Both business failed to identify the activity as high risk work and were subsequently fined. Penalties for directing or allowing a worker to carry out high risk work without seeing written evidence from the workers that they hold the relevant licence to perform the work range from $432 for an individual to $2,160 for a body corporate.

SafeWork SA Executive Director, Martyn Campbell said, “the licensing of workers ensures that high risk work is performed by people deemed competent and that have undergone the relevant training which incorporates the health and safety of workers and other persons in the workplace”.

“In these recent incidents, both companies had disregard to their duty of care, exposing their untrained workers to serious harm.

SafeWork SA will not hesitate to take strong action against businesses that fail to comply with their obligations under the high risk work licensing scheme” said Mr Campbell.

High Risk Work Licence

An individual must be licensed for a class of high risk work before they carry out that type of work.

A licence to perform High Risk Work is recognised all around Australia as part of a national licensing system and is required for the following kinds of work:

  • crane and hoist operation
  • dogging and rigging work
  • forklift operation
  • pressure equipment operation
  • scaffolding work.

Further information