We have developed a minimum standard of training expected for workers who operate elevating work platforms (EWPs). This standard has been developed in collaboration with construction industry unions, business associations, the Construction Industry Safety Committee and Construction Safety Alliance in accordance with the person conducting a business or undertaking’s (PCBU) primary duty of care under the Work Health and Safety Act 2012.
Although the majority of EWPs are used in construction, this information applies to all industries to ensure the minimum standard of training is being met.
The minimum standard consists of specific criteria that must be addressed to satisfy the five elements below.
- Plant identification
- Hazard identification and control
- Pre and post-start inspections
- Safe general use
- Shutdown and post-use inspection.
A PCBU must provide workers with reasonable information, instruction, training and supervision to operate the EWP in all of the foreseeable work situations which may arise.
PCBUs’ duties also include ensuring that:
- the type of EWP is appropriate for the task being performed
- the EWP is safe to use in that particular environment (other structures in the area, proximity to other workers and power lines, ground surface)
- workers are supplied with correct personal protective equipment (PPE)
- the work is conducted safely
- the EWP is maintained in a safe condition.
Workers must take all practicable steps to keep themselves safe in the workplace and ensure they do not place others at risk of harm. This includes both the actions they take and the actions they don’t take (i.e. not wearing safety gear).
Workers have a responsibility to:
- identify and report hazards as they arise
- follow the safe work procedures and instructions that are in place
- wear any required PPE
- report any accidents or near misses immediately to their supervisor or appropriate person.
Before a worker can operate an EWP of any type they must be appropriately trained and competent on each type of EWP to be used.
Nationally recognised training is available from Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) for the various types of EWPs, including boom-type, scissor and trailer mounted.
A Statement of Attainment for High Risk Work Licence (class WP) training from an RTO is acceptable as proof of training for the operation of a boom-type EWP.
Where the length of the boom is 11 metres or more the operator must also have a High Risk Work Licence (HRWL).
For experienced EWP operators without evidence of training, an alternative could be to arrange a registered training provider to confirm knowledge.
When operating models different to those used in the training and assessment, the operator should be provided with familiarisation training on the specific EWP they will be operating due to the design differences between manufacturers and even models by the same manufacturer.
The operator must also be supervised during the training period until they are deemed competent to operate the EWP.
Training must also be given to other workers within the EWP e.g. harness use, emergency procedures, overhead structures etc.
Operators should also receive regular refresher training that covers the minimum standard set out in this document.
A PCBU must put in place arrangements for ensuring that an EWP is used in accordance with safe work procedures by ensuring adequate supervision and monitoring by a nominated competent person. The use of EWPs during high risk construction work requires the implementation of a safe work method statement (SWMS) that describes how the control measures are to be monitored.
The person supervising the work activity must ensure there are clear lines of sight and communication while the EWP is being operated, to enable the warning of potential hazards.