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Worksafe Victoria Announces New High-Risk licence for Telehandlers

From Monday 1st July, operators of non-slewing telehandlers in Victoria will have a new high risk work licence (HRWL) available for machines with a rated capacity of more than 3 tonnes. Up until this point, WorkSafe VIC has required operators of these machines to hold a mobile crane licence (CN or higher) to operate these machines.

One of the key benefits of telehandlers is their versatility to operate in numerous configurations, in many settings, thanks to the plethora of attachments that are available for these machines. The flip side of this versatility has been the challenge of training that meets the regulatory primary duty of care requirements. As an example, operation of telehandler fitted with bale forks in an agricultural setting is different to a machine fitted with a jib being used to pick & carry suspended loads on an urban construction site. As a result of feedback from various industry stakeholders, WorkSafe VIC determined that there was a need for a telehandler specific high risk work licence.

From 1st July, operators in Victoria will have the option to complete either a mobile crane HRWL, or the new, telehandler specific HRWL for machines >3T rated capacity. Operators who already hold a mobile crane HRWL will not be required to undertake the new telehandler HRWL. The new “NAT11249001 – Licence to operate a non-slewing telehandler (with a rated capacity greater than 3 tonnes)” qualification will be offered by approved RTO’s throughout Victoria.

It is worth noting that for operators of machines with a rated capacity of less than or equal to 3T, duty of care training is still required and the TSHA Gold Card provides a comprehensive, industry backed solution.

Stuart Walker, TSHA President, notes “As the peak body for the telehandler industry, safety is of primary concern for the TSHA. For the TSHA, telehandler specific training, delivered on actual telehandlers makes sense. Whilst a mobile crane HRWL remains an accepted level of licence, in our opinion, the new telehandler specific licence presents a more compelling fit-for-purpose option.”  Stuart adds, “Telehandlers are a popular equipment option in the agricultural sector. Success of this new licence will no doubt be influenced by the take up by RTO’s that are conveniently located to the more regional areas.”

WorkSafe VIC has created a survey to help capture data on where non-slewing telehandler operators are located and how far they are willing to undertake training. The results from this survey will provide insight into demand for the telehandler licence. The survey can be accessed here with all responses remaining confidential. Submissions close Fri 31st May.

Further details regarding the non-slewing telehandler licence can be found on the Worksafe VIC website.


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