Licencing requirements for operators of vehicle loading cranes

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A high risk work licence is required for some types of vehicle loading cranes.

What are vehicle loading cranes?

The Occupational Safety and Health Regulations defines a Vehicle Loading Crane as:

‘Vehicle loading cranes (capacity - ten metre tonnes and above).  Crane mounted on a vehicle for the principal purpose of loading  and unloading such a vehicle.’

Vehicle loading cranes commonly used in industry

Some common makes or types of Vehicle Loading Cranes are Hiab, Palfinger, Atlas and Ferrari.  They usually have a lifting capacity of between 2 metre tonnes for the smaller types to 80 metre tonnes for the largest types.

Vehicle loading cranes requiring licenced operation

Only vehicle loading cranes with a lifting capacity of 10 metre tonnes or greater require to be operated by persons who hold the appropriate High Risk Work Licence for crane operation.

What is meant by metre tonne?

Metre tonnage lifting capacity in relation to Vehicle Loading Cranes is a figure that is derived by multiplying the lifting capacity by the working radius of the boom or jib for that lifting capacity.

How is ten (10) metre tonnes calculated?

The formula for ascertaining ten (10) metre tonnes is:

MULTIPLY THE SWL x THE WORKING RADIUS FOR THAT SWL= METRE TONNES From the centre line of slew to the centre line of hook.

This calculation must be done for each safe working load (SWL) on the load chart.  If any one calculation amounts to 10 metre tonnes lifting capacity or greater, the crane operator will require the appropriate High Risk Work Licence.            

What High Risk Work Licence is required to operate vehicle loading cranes with a lifting capacity of 10 metre tonnes or greater?

The High Risk Work Licence issued for the operation of Vehicle Loading Cranes is one endorsed with Licence Class ‘CV’ (ie, Cranes Vehicle Loading).  Additionally, any High Risk Work Licence issued for Slewing Mobile Crane operation will also entitle the holder to operate Vehicle Loading Cranes with a lifting capacity of 10 metre tonnes or greater.

Obtaining a High Risk Work Licence to operate vehicle loading cranes

Under the National Licensing Standard assessments for High Risk Work Licences are carried out by Assessors registered in accordance with Regulation 6.18 of the Occupational Safety and Health Regulations 1996 (as amended) and Clause 5.18 of the National Licensing Standard.

For an application guide and a list of registered Assessors please contact a member of the Licensing and Business Services Team.

Vehicle loading cranes with less than 10 metre tonnes lifting capacity

Whilst a High Risk Work Licence is not required to operate these types of vehicle loading cranes, employers have a duty of care responsibility, under Section 19(1)(b) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984, to provide systems of work and information, instruction and training to their employees who operate vehicle loading cranes of this capacity.

Employers have this duty of care responsibility irrespective as to whether or not their vehicle loading cranes require certificated operation.

Responsibilities of owner drivers

Self-employed persons who own and operate vehicle loading cranes are required to hold the appropriate High Risk Work Licence if their particular unit has a lifting capacity of 10 metre tonnes or greater.  They also have a duty of care responsibility, under Section 21 of the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984, to be competent in the operation of their vehicle loading cranes.

Requirement for licenced doggers

The National standard for licensing persons performing high risk work (the Licensing Standard) replaces the National occupational health and safety certification standard for users and operators of industrial equipment [NOHSC:1006 (2001)].

The Licensing Standard defines dogging work as ‘applying slinging techniques for the purposes of lifting a load, including selecting the method of lifting (by consideration of the nature of the load, its mass and its centre of gravity) and inspecting lifting gear (for suitability and condition)’

-OR- 

Directing the operator of a crane or hoist in the movement of a load when the load is out of the view of the operator.’

The Occupational Safety and Health Regulations 1996 has specific requirements where the vehicle loading crane used on a construction site is being used to lift a general load directly from the ground to the vehicle on which the crane is mounted or from the vehicle onto the ground, and the crane operator has an appropriate crane HRWL which includes dogging work and has experience in the use of that crane type, then there is no requirement for an additional dogger to be involved.

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Last updated 06 Oct 2017

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