SafeWork SA has issued a $2,160 expiation to a construction business for allowing a worker to operate a boom-type mobile elevating work platform (MEWP) without the appropriate high risk work licence.

On 16 July 2020 a SafeWork SA inspector observed a worker operating an MEWP with a boom length greater than 11 meters. While carrying out the MEWP compliance campaign audit it was found that the operator did not hold the appropriate licence and the business had not seen written evidence from the operator that they held the relevant licence to operate the MEWP.

The Work Health and Safety Regulation 2012 (SA), section 85(1) states that, “a person conducting a business or undertaking at a workplace must not direct or allow a worker to carry out high risk work for which a high risk work licence is required unless the person sees written evidence provided by the worker that the worker has the relevant high risk work licence for that work”.

The business was provided the opportunity to explain their actions at a subsequent meeting on 14 October 2020.

SafeWork SA Executive Director, Martyn Campbell said, “There are certain forms of work that have the potential to result in significant risk of injury that they are deemed by the WHS laws to require specialised training, assessment of competency and the issuance of a licence for specific nominated classes”.

“With all the information available on the SafeWork SAs website, this business failed to demonstrate due diligence by keeping up to date knowledge relevant to the operation of mobile elevating work platforms.”

“It is the responsibility of the business to ensure they are across legal requirements and worker safety including licensing. Untrained operators can lead to serious incidents.”

“This disregard to their duty of care is an insult to every other business doing the right thing and I have therefore issued an expiation notice to clearly show my intolerance,” said Mr Campbell.

SafeWork SA have developed guidelines to assist personnel working with MEWPs including information for ground support personnel and minimum standards of training.

Anyone responsible for the operation of an MEWP requires proper training and support to ensure that any and all work is conducted safely.

The expiation fee was issued for contravening section 85 of the WHS Regulations for a total of $2,160.

Further information

High risk work licences