Your questions answered: Do you need a working at height licence when using a safety cage?

By Portner Press on November 14th, 2019
  1. Work Health & Safety Act
  2. Workplace health & safety regulations

Q
When working at heights from a forklift working platform (safety cage) do you need a working at height licence or need to be trained internally?
A
Regarding high-risk licences, the worker who is working at heights from a forklift working platform is not required to obtain a high-risk licence under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 and Work Health and Safety Regulations 2011.

The forklift operator will be required to have a high-risk licence if your working platform (safety cage) is part of a forklift that is characterised by the Work Health and Safety Regulations 2011 as a “powered industrial truck equipped with lifting media made up of a mast and an elevating load carriage to which is attached a pair of fork arms or other arms that can be raised 900 mm or more above the ground, but does not include a pedestrian operated truck or a pallet truck”.

If your forklift satisfies the above definition, then the forklift operator will have to obtain either:

a) A Forklift truck high-risk licence (Class LF) for a powered industrial truck equipped with a mast and an elevating load carriage to which is attached a pair of fork arms or other attachment; or

b) An Order-picking forklift truck high-risk licence (Class LO) for powered industrial truck of a type where the operator’s control arrangement is incorporated with the load carriage/lifting media, and elevates with it.

Regarding internal training, you also have a duty of care to provide your workers with appropriate training for both working from heights and working safely with a forklift.

Providing appropriate training is an effective way to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health and safety of your employees.

You also have additional duties under section 220 of the Work Health and Safety Regulations 2011, you will also be required to ensure the person with management or control of the forklift at your workplace ensures that:

(a) the persons are lifted or suspended in a work box that is securely attached to the plant; and

(b) the persons in the work box remain substantially within the work box while they are being lifted or suspended; and

(c) if there is a risk of a person falling from a height, a safety harness is provided and worn by the person in order to prevent, so far as is reasonably practicable, injury to the person as a result of the fall; and

(d) means are provided by which the persons being lifted or suspended can safely exit from the plant in the event of a failure in its normal operation.

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