Introduced today, the Occupational Health and Safety Amendment (Telehandlers) Regulations 2024 established a new non-slewing telehandler high risk work licence, which will give operators the choice to undertake training specific to the type of work they will perform. The changes follow extensive consultation with stakeholders and an in-depth safety analysis to understand how telehandlers are being used across industries.
It will provide tailored training for those operating non-slewing telehandlers with a rated capacity of over 3 tonnes.
Telehandlers are useful machines that can lift, move and place materials using different attachments, such as buckets or hay forks. Many industries, especially agriculture, use them widely. However, they can also cause serious accidents if operators do not handle them properly. Non-slewing telehandlers are high risk machinery that require expertise to be used safely. In the past three years, two workers have died in telehandler incidents. One of these including fatal electrocution of a worker while operating a telehandler in 2020.
Workers can apply for the new licence from the 1st July.
Alternatively, workers can complete a non-slewing mobile crane course and get the existing non-slewing crane licence (CN licence). They do not need to hold both licences to operate a non-slewing telehandler.
Other mobile crane high risk work licence (HRWL) classes are still valid for telehandler operation, as long as the worker has received adequate training for the telehandler and its attachment.
The new licence is not valid for slewing telehandlers, which require a different licence. Additionally, some attachments, such as work platforms, may require further competency or other high risk work licences.
WorkSafe Victoria Executive Director of Health and Safety Narelle Beer says,
“The new licence lets operators choose the option that suits the way they use telehandlers in their workplace."
The new telehandler licence will provide the option for specialised training for operating a non-slewing telehandler with a range of different attachments, such as the bucket or hay fork more commonly used in agriculture.
Training through authorised Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) will be available soon. Find an authorised RTO near you in the Service providers directory.
“We know telehandlers are becoming more popular in agriculture and, while they are useful additions to many farming businesses, they require the appropriate training and licensing to ensure safe operation.”
New licence for practical telehandler training by WorkSafe Victoria, 30th January, 2024.
Non-slewing telehandler licence by WorkSafe Victoria, 30th January, 2024.
Feedlot fined $140,000 after telehandler operator electrocuted by WorkSafe Victoria, 4th December, 2023.