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Crane licensing upheaval on SafeWork’s agenda

Crane driver, posing next to the huge mobile crane he's operating for safety in the crane industry

SafeWork Australia has announced it is seeking feedback on six proposals aimed at improving the framework for crane licensing.

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The proposals include new licences, new experience requirements for crane operators, refinements to existing licences, and changes to the overall structure of crane licensing. According to SafeWork, the initial proposals are for consultation only at this stage and don’t represent anything concrete.

“The discussion paper sets out 6 key proposals for changes that could be made to crane licensing to improve safety and ensure the licensing system keeps pace with changing work practices and technology,” says the body’s website. “The purpose of the paper is to get feedback on these proposals and whether stakeholders think they could provide an effective future model for crane licensing.”

The six proposals outlined by SafeWork Australia are:

  • Organising licences by function rather than lifting capacity,
  • Practical experience for crane operators,
  • Introducing new licences for telehandlers, piling rigs and straddle carriers,
  • Structural changes to align training to specific skills and crane functions,
  • A prerequisite training course for anyone operating cranes on a vessel over water, and
  • Improving the rigging licence framework.

In order to fully develop its proposed crane licensing changes, SafeWork Australia is encouraging submissions from all stakeholders with an interest in enhancing the new framework.

“We encourage businesses operating, supplying or manufacturing cranes, unions, workers, regulators, industry bodies, government departments, training providers and members of the public to provide their views,” said a release from the safety body.

“We also encourage submissions from those involved in other high-risk work related to crane operations, particularly dogging and rigging work.”

The consultation is now open, and submissions can be made online through Safe Work Australia’s Consultation Hub until 11:59 pm (AEST) on July 31, 2024.

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