High risk work licensing for dogging

The information on high risk work (HRW) licensing requirements when carrying out dogging work below was provided by Safe Work Australia. 

What is dogging work?

Dogging work involves exercising judgement (making decisions) when:

  • selecting appropriate slinging methods and lifting gear by:
    • considering load size shape 
    • determining load weight (its mass) and centre of gravity, and
  • inspecting lifting gear like chains, slings, ropes, cables and hooks used to attach loads to plant to ensure it is not defective.

Dogging work also includes:

  • Directing a plant operator in the movement of a load when the load is out of the plant operator's view by communicating with the plant operator using hand sigals, whistles or two-way radios. 

Note: Plant in this content means a crane or hoist or other plant used as a crane or hoist. 

Who does dogging work?

A person doing dogging work is called a dogger or dogman. They must hold a Dogging HRW Licence to carry out dogging work. Dogging work can also be carried out by licensed riggers. Licensed riggers complete the Dogging Unit of Competency to get their rigging HRW licence , which allows them to legally undertake dogging work.

When is a dogger required? 

A dogger is required to carry out dogging work. Slinging loads where judgement is not required and where the load is always in view of the plant operator is not dogging work, therefore a dogger is not required.

Table 1 on the information sheet provides more information on the conditions when a dogger is required. Table 2 provides some examples of plant and lifting conditions, and also lists whether a dogger is required.

Can a worker in training perform dogging work?

Dogging work can only be done without a Dogging HRW Licence if the worker:

  • is doing the dogging work while enrolled in a Dogging HRW Licence training course, and
  • is under the supervision of a licensed dogger.

Note: A plant operator can also be a licensed dogger. However, when moving a load, the plant operator cannot supervise a worker enrolled in a training course because the plant operator would be at the crane controls and therefore unable to effectively supervise the worker. 

Use pre-determined slinging methods

The selection of the slinging method and lifting gear can be pre-determined by a competent person and set out in a safe work lifting procedure, for example where high-volume, repetitive lifting occurs using a bridge or gantry crane or a vehicle loading crane.

A safe work lifting procedure is a documented procedure that defines the details and procedures of a lift including the:

  • weight of the load
  • lifting points
  • equipment and resources to be used
  • procedures relating to differing weather and site conditions, and
  • system for regular inspection of the lifting gear.

If unlicensed workers are to use pre-determined slinging techniques to sling loads, they must receive information, instruction and training so they can follow the procedures. 

Using purpose-designed lifting frames or attachments will make this easier to achieve. Where the loads vary within a known weight range or a known range of centres of gravity, the specified slinging methods need to be suitable for the full range without the need to individually identify or estimate weights or centres of gravity.

Is a dogger required when using a vhicle loading, bridge or gantry crane?

Vehicle Loading Crane and Bridge and Gantry Crane HRW licences include the application of load estimation and slinging techniques to move a load. A licensed operator of a vehicle loading, bridge or gantry crane is therefore able to make judgements on the load and slinging method and select and inspect the lifting equipment to be used for the crane they are licensed to operate.

However, the licensed operator cannot direct a vehicle loading, bridge or gantry crane operator in the movement of a load when the load is out of the crane operator’s view or operate the vehicle loading, bridge or gantry crane themselves, if the load is out of their view. In these circumstances a dogger is required to direct the crane operator.

If the load is in view of the crane operator throughout the lift and all the other conditions listed in Table 1 are met, a competent worker other than the crane operator can sling the load.

Further information

Safe Work Australia

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