SafeWork SA issues expiation for high-risk work without licence
A construction business has received a $2160 expiation from SafeWork SA, after allowing a worker to operate a boom-type mobile elevating work platform (MEWP) without the appropriate high-risk work licence.
On 16 July 2020 a SafeWork SA inspector observed a worker operating an MEWP with a boom length greater than 11 metres. During the MEWP compliance campaign audit, it was discovered that the operator did not hold the appropriate licence and had not provided written evidence that they held the relevant licence to operate the MEWP.
Per the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2012 (SA), a person conducting a business or undertaking at a workplace must not direct or allow a worker to perform high-risk work for which a high-risk work licence is required, unless the person sees written evidence provided by the worker that the worker has the relevant high-risk work licence.
The business had the opportunity to explain its actions at a subsequent meeting on 14 October 2020. SafeWork SA Executive Director Martyn Campbell noted that there are certain forms of work that can result in significant risk of injury — they are deemed by WHS laws to require specialised training, assessment of competency and the issuance of a licence for specific nominated classes.
“With all the information available on the SafeWork SA website, this business failed to demonstrate due diligence by keeping up-to-date knowledge relevant to the operation of mobile elevating work platforms. It is the responsibility of the business to ensure they are across legal requirements and worker safety including licensing. Untrained operators can lead to serious incidents. This disregard to their duty of care is an insult to every other business doing the right thing and I have therefore issued an expiation notice to clearly show my intolerance,” Campbell said.
SafeWork SA has developed guidelines to assist personnel working with MEWPs including information for ground support personnel and minimum standards of training. Those responsible for the operation of an MEWP must have proper training and support to ensure that all work is conducted safely.
The expiation fee was issued for contravening section 85 of the WHS Regulations for a total of $2160.
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