Inspection program on High Risk Work licences reveals good results

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A WorkSafe targeted inspection program on High Risk Work licences in construction has revealed that the majority of workers in the industry hold the required licences.

In the three months from October to December 2010, construction inspectors visited sites in Perth and regional areas of WA, including the Indian Ocean Territories (Christmas and Cocos Islands).

They visited 68 construction sites and checked the licences of more than 400 workers engaged in work with scaffolding, rigging, cranes and hoists, concrete placing booms and load shifting equipment.

Inspectors issued a total of eight improvement notices and one prohibition notice on sites where workers did not hold the required licence or had not yet updated their certification to the national High Risk Work licence.

WorkSafe Director Chris Kirwin today congratulated the construction industry on its vigilance in ensuring that workers held the appropriate licences.

“The results of this program are very pleasing, with only one worker out of the more than 400 checked not holding a licence at all,” Mr Kirwin said.

“The other eight who were issued with improvement notices had not converted their old Certificates of Competency to High Risk Work licences by the deadline, and the notices required them to do so by a specified date.

“Even though we have found a high level of compliance with this program, we will continue to check High Risk Work licences on an ongoing basis to ensure that workers new to the industry are properly trained and licensed.

“This inspection program is part of an ongoing series of proactive inspections aimed at providing employers with the information required to comply with the laws.

“Stakeholders in the industry – including the relevant unions, industry groups and employers – were informed of the program before it began, so they were all aware of what would be expected.”

During the program, inspectors checked the licences of any worker they saw on a construction site who was engaged in work classified as “high risk”.

The old Certificates of Competency must be converted to High Risk Work licences by deadlines dictated by their original issue date.

The remaining conversion deadlines are June 30 2011 for certificates issued between January 1 2002 and December 31 2004, and June 30 2012 for certificates issued between January 1 2005 and September 30 2007.

“Like all WorkSafe’s proactive inspection programs, this one aimed to raise awareness and provide information, but inspectors took enforcement action where necessary,” Mr Kirwin said.

“We firmly believe that raising awareness with proactive campaigns is the best way in which to lessen the risk of work-related injury and illness.”

Further information on High Risk Work licences can be obtained by telephoning WorkSafe on 1300 307877 or on the website at

Media contact:  Caroline De Vaney 9327 8744 or 0408 927563 (media enquiries only). 

Media release
09 Feb 2011

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