Loadshifting generally refers to the operation of front-end loaders, excavators and dozers. Less common forms of loadshifting are the operation of cableways and flying foxes and draglines. Forklift operation is not regarded as loadshifting – it’s now high risk work.

Loadshifting equipment classes

Front-end loader/backhoe (Class LB)

Self-propelled wheeled machine with a main structural support designed to carry both a front mounted bucket loading mechanism and a rear-mounted backhoe.

Front-end loader (Class LL)

Self-propelled wheeled machine with an integral front mounted bucket-supporting structure and linkage, which loads or excavates through forward motion of the machine and lifts, transports and discharges material.

Front-end loader of the skid steer type (Class LS)

Self-propelled crawler or wheeled machine in which steering is accomplished by skidding or reversing the track or wheels on one side of the machine. Also with an integral front-mounted bucket-supporting structure and linkage, which loads or excavates through forward motion of the machine and lifts, transports and discharges material.

Excavator (Class LE)

Self-propelled crawler or wheeled machine with an upper structure capable of a minimum of 360 degrees rotation, which excavates, elevates, swings and discharges material by the action of a bucket fitted to the boom and arm or telescoping boom, without moving the chassis or undercarriage during any part of the working cycle of the machine.

Dozer (Class LZ)

Items of plant composed of wheeled or crawler tractors with a dozer blade mounted at the front-end of the machine.

Cableway/flying fox (Class LC)

An arrangement where a wire rope is suspended between two tower structures, on which is supported a carriage or fox from which a load may be suspended. Wire ropes are reeved in an arrangement to allow the carriage or fox to be traversed, and the load raised or lowered.

Dragline (Class LD)

A lattice boom crane configuration supporting a bucket or scoop which is thrown outwards, and retrieved through materials by a drag cable arrangement.

Competency requirements

A Notice of Satisfactory Assessment issued by an Accredited Assessor is no longer a legislative requirement in South Australia for the above loadshifting classes. However, load shifting equipment must still be operated safely and competently.

To provide evidence of competency, operators of load shifting equipment should be able to provide one of more of:

  • a previous Notice of Satisfactory Assessment issued by (or on behalf of) a regulator, such as SafeWork SA
  • a Statement of Attainment or other nationally accredited qualification for the plant operated
  • a Certificate of Competency for the plant or equipment issued by (or on behalf of) a regulator, such as SafeWork SA
  • an industry competency card or evidence of training completed at a registered training organisation to a standard equal to NOHSC: 7019
  • confirmed evidence of appropriate on the job training from an experienced and competent operator and have records of that training verified by the competent operator
  • confirmed evidence of previous experience and competency verified by a current or previous employer.

Operators must also demonstrate that their current level of competency is appropriate for the complexity of the work and the conditions of the worksite.


The person in control of load shifting equipment is responsible for:

  • identifying and controlling hazards
  • advising anyone who affected by the load shifting work of the hazards and control measures
  • establishing communication channels in order to receive and/or give instructions to perform their duties safely
  • following safe work practices and take action to prevent any person being placed at risk by the use of the plant.

A person conducting a business or undertaking is responsible for:

  • ensuring that operators have received adequate information and training, and are supervised, so that any risks to health and safety are minimised
    • the amount of information, instruction, training or supervision required must take into account the complexity of the tasks, the operator's current skills and ability and other workers on site
  • ongoing training to maintain the operator's competency level, particularly with new models of plant or equipment, and ensure new workers are able to undertake the work safely
  • the application of all other general duties regarding health and safety.