Warning to check High Risk Work licences after fakes arrive in WA

WorkSafe has issued a warning to check workers’ High Risk Work Licences after fake licences issued in New South Wales turned up in WA.

WorkSafe WA Commissioner Lex McCulloch said today it was important that High Risk Work Licences were only issued to workers who had been appropriately trained.

“In agreeing to adopt the national licensing standard back in 2007, the important role high-quality training plays in helping provide workers with the skills to perform high risk work safely and competently was acknowledged,” Mr McCulloch said.

“These licences apply to anyone engaged in work considered to be “high risk”, including scaffolding, dogging and rigging work and the operation of cranes, hoists, pressure equipment and forklifts.

“It’s quite alarming to think that there could be workers out there who believe they have received the proper training when they may not have – they may be endangering themselves and everyone else around them.”

Two fraudulent High Risk Work Licences were discovered recently in Karratha when two workers visited the Department of Commerce office to have additional rigging classes added to their licences.

The two men, who had previously worked as riggers, had been provided with NSW High Risk Work Licences.

The men later travelled to Karratha, where they sought to upgrade their licences.  After being assessed for the higher level, the men visited the Department of Commerce office.

Procedures are in place to verify the validity of licences issued in other States, and these procedures uncovered the fact that the licences were fraudulent.

“The good news is that the checking procedures in place did work and the fraud was discovered,” Mr McCulloch said.

“Only two of these fraudulent licences have been detected, so there is no reason for unnecessary alarm.  However, we need to maintain our vigilance and spread the message that High Risk Work Licences issued in NSW need to be verified.

“Assessors and Registered Training Organisations are also advised to verify NSW licences with the NSW licensing office before accepting them as prerequisites for further training and assessment.

“These licences are called High Risk Work Licences for a good reason, and it is of great concern that licence holders may not be adequately trained to perform these types of work safely and competently.

“I urge employers, assessors and trainers to be on the lookout for High Risk Work Licences issued in NSW.

“If you encounter one of these licences at your workplace, it should be verified by telephoning the Licensing Solutions Unit of the WorkCover Authority of NSW on 1800 335791.”

Media contact: Caroline De Vaney 9327 8744 or 0408 927563 (media enquiries only)
Follow @WorkSafeWA on Twitter

Media release
14 May 2013

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