High risk work licences

A high risk work licence is required to operate some machinery, erect scaffolding or undertake dogging or rigging work.

In this section you will find all the information you need to apply for a high risk work licence and remain compliant with health and safety laws.

To undertake certain types of work, you must hold a the relevant licence for:

  • cranes
  • forklifts
  • hoists
  • pressure equipment
  • reach stackers
  • scaffolding
  • dogging
  • rigging

High risk work licences are valid for five years and recognised nationally: you can work in any state or territory if you have a current HRW licence.

And remember, you need to keep your licence available for inspection.

Crane licences

You need a high risk work licence if you want to operate cranes in NSW.

The types of cranes we licence are:

  1. bridge and gantry cranes
  2. derrick cranes
  3. non slewing mobile cranes greater than three tonnes capacity
  4. portal boom cranes
  5. self erecting tower cranes
  6. slewing mobile cranes
  7. tower cranes
  8. vehicle loading cranes.
  9. concrete placing booms

Before you can apply for a national licence to perform high risk work to operate any of these cranes, a registered training organisation (RTO) must assess your training, skills and knowledge using the relevant 'assessment instrument' under realistic workplace conditions.

The definitions of different cranes are outlined in detail in the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011. Listed below is only a general description of each type of equipment.

Bridge and gantry cranes (CB)

Bridge and gantry cranes are controlled from a permanent cabin or control station on the crane as well as those that are remote controlled with more than three powered operations (hoist, raise and lower equals one operation), including the application of load estimation and slinging techniques to move a load.

Derrick crane (CD)

A slewing strut-boom crane with its boom pivoted at the base of a mast which is either guyed (guy-derrick) or held by backstays (stiff-legged derrick) and which is capable of luffing under load.

Non slewing mobile cranes greater than three tonnes capacity (CN)

A non-slewing mobile crane means a mobile crane, of greater than three tonnes capacity, incorporating a boom or jib that cannot be slewed.

Includes:

  • articulated type mobile cranes
  • locomotive cranes
  • non-slewing telehandlers (over three tonnes capacity, fitted with a boom and/or jib with a hoist rope and/or hook block).

Does not include vehicle tow trucks.

Note: Holders of a CN licence may also operate a reach stacker until 1 July 2017.

Portal boom crane (CP)

A boom crane or jib crane mounted on a portal frame that is supported on runways along which the crane travels.

Self erecting tower crane (CS)

A crane where the tower structure and boom/jib elements are not disassembled into component sections and it can be transported between sites as a complete unit with the erection and dismantling processes an inherent part of the crane's function.

Slewing mobile cranes (C2, C6, C1, C0)

A slewing mobile crane means a mobile crane incorporating a boom jib that is capable of being slewed. This excludes front end loader, backhoe, excavator and other earthmoving equipment when configured for crane operation.

There are four classes of slewing mobile cranes each with a different capacity:

  • up to 20 tonnes (C2) - incorporating CN & CV classes
  • up to 60 tonnes (C6) - incorporating C2, CN & CV classes
  • up to 100 tonnes (C1)  -incorporating C6, C2, CN & CV classes
  • over 100 tonnes capacity (C0) - incorporating C1, C6, C2, CN & CV classes

If a slewing telehandler is fitted with a boom and/or jib with a hoist rope and/or hook block, a C2, C6, C1 or C0 high risk work licence is required, dependent on the telehandler's rated capacity.

Tower cranes (CT)

A jib or boom crane mounted on a tower structure, demountable or permanent, including both horizontal and luffing jib types.

Vehicle loading crane (CV)

Covers the operation of a crane with a capacity of 10 metre tonnes or more, mounted on a vehicle to move a load onto or from the vehicle, including the application of load estimation and slinging techniques to move a load.

This allows the licence holder of a CV licence to operate a vehicle loading crane and conduct the full range of slewing operations without holding a slewing mobile crane licence, so long as:

  • the equipment is suitable for the task
  • the equipment is used within its operating parameters
  • the operator has been adequately trained.

Concrete placing booms (PB)

Covers the operation of knuckle type concrete placing booms, capable of power operated slewing and luffing to place concrete by pumping through a pipeline.

The pipeline will be attached to or forming part of the boom of the plant, and includes both vehicle and satellite mounted units.

Eligibility criteria

You are eligible to obtain a licence if you:

  • are at least 18 years old
  • complete a recognised training course and have been assessed as competent by an assessor working for the RTO
  • can use English at a level that enables the safe performance of high risk work

Application process

The assessor will have the application forms you need for a new card after you have completed your training and assessment. You will then take those forms to your nearest Australia Post office as well as 100 points of ID.

You will also need to bring with you a passport sized and quality photo of yourself with your name and date of birth printed on the back, you can read our new application information sheet for more details.

The application fee is outlined in our list of fees and charges.

Replace a licence

Your high risk work licence can be replaced online or you can post your application to replace a high risk work licence to us.

Renew a licence

We will mail a renewal form to you two months before your licence is due to expire. You will need to complete the form and lodge it at an Australia Post office, you can read our renewal information sheet for more details.

If you have not received your renewal notice or need any assistance, please contact us on 13 10 50.

Dogging, rigging and scaffolding licences

You need a high risk work licence if you want to carry out dogging, rigging or scaffolding work in NSW.

Before you can apply for a national licence to perform high risk work to undertake any dogging, rigging or scaffolding work listed below, a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) must assess your training, skills and knowledge using the relevant 'assessment instrument' under realistic workplace conditions.

Dogging (DG)

Consists of the application of slinging techniques to move a load (including the selection and inspection of lifting gear) and/or the directing of a crane/hoist operator in the movement of a load when the load is out of the view of the crane/hoist operator.

Rigging

Rigging work means the use of mechanical loadshifting equipment (and associated gear) to move, place or secure a load using plant, equipment or members of a building or structures, to ensure the stability of those members or the setting up or dismantling of cranes orhoists.

There are three type of rigging:

Basic rigging (RB)

Consists of dogging and rigging work involving:

  • movement of plant and equipment
  • steel erection
  • hoists (including mast climbing hoists)
  • placement of precast concrete
  • safety nets and static lines
  • perimeter safety screens and shutters
  • cantilevered crane loading platforms

Intermediate rigging (RI)

Consists of all basic rigging work plus rigging involving:

  • cranes, conveyors, dredges and excavators
  • tilt slabs
  • hoists with jibs and self climbing hoists
  • demolition
  • dual lifts

But excluding rigging work involving equipment listed below under Advanced rigging.

Advanced rigging (RA)

Advanced rigging – consists of all intermediate rigging work plus rigging that involves:

  • gin poles and shear legs
  • flying foxes and cableways
  • guyed derricks and structures
  • suspended and fabricated hung scaffolds

Scaffolding

Scaffolding work is the erection, alteration or dismantling of a temporary structure erected to support a platform from which a person or object could fall more than four metres from the platform or the structure.

There are three type of scaffolding:

Basic scaffolding (SB)

Consists of scaffolding work involving:

  • modular or prefabricated scaffolds
  • cantilevered materials hoists with a maximum working load of 500 kg
  • ropes and gin wheels
  • safety nets and static lines, and
  • bracket scaffolds (tank and formwork)

Intermediate scaffolding (SI)

All basic scaffolding work plus scaffolding connected with the use and operation of:

  • cantilevered crane loading platforms
  • cantilevered and spurred scaffolds
  • barrow ramps and sloping platforms
  • perimeter safety screens and shutters
  • mast climbers
  • tube and coupler scaffolds (including tube and coupler covered ways and gantries)

Advanced scaffolding (SA)

All intermediate scaffolding work plus scaffolding connected with the use and operation of:

  • cantilevered hoists
  • hung scaffolds, including scaffolds hanging from tubes, wire ropes or chains
  • suspended scaffolds

Note: advanced certificates cover the requirements for the intermediate certificates; intermediate certificates cover the requirements for the basic certificates.

Eligibility criteria

You are eligible to obtain a licence if you:

  • are at least 18 years old
  • complete a recognised training course and have been assessed as competent by an assessor working for the RTO
  • can use English at a level that enables the safe performance of high risk work

Application process

The assessor will have the application forms you need for a new card after you have completed your training and assessment. You will then take those forms to your nearest Australia Post office as well as 100 points of ID.

You will also need to bring with you a passport sized and quality photo of yourself with your name and date of birth printed on the back, you can read our new application information sheet for more details.

The application fee is outlined in our list of fees and charges.

Replace a  licence

Your high risk work licence can be replaced online or you can post your application to replace a high risk work licence to us.

Renew a  licence

We will mail a renewal form to you two months before your licence is due to expire. You will need to complete the form and lodge it at an Australia Post office, you can read our renewal information sheet for more details.

If you have not received your renewal notice or need any assistance, please contact on 13 10 50.

Forklift licences

You need a high risk work licence if you want to operate a forklift in NSW.

There are two classes of forklift licences. They are for:

  1. a forklift truck equipped with a mast and an elevating load carriage with a pair of fork arms or other attachment (class LF)
  2. an order picking forklift truck where the operator's control elevates with the load carriage/lifting media (class LO)

If a telehandler is fitted with forks or a bucket, a high risk work licence is not required. However, the business (or employer or other PCBU) has a duty of care to ensure workers have appropriate training in operating the telehandler.

Eligibility criteria

You are eligible to obtain a licence if you:

  • are at least 18 years of age
  • complete a recognised training course with a registered training organisation (RTO) and have been assessed as competent by an assessor working for the RTO
  • can use English at a level that enables the safe performance of high risk work

Application process

The assessor will have the application forms you need for a new card after you have completed your training and assessment. You will then take those forms to your nearest Australia Post office as well as 100 points of ID.

You will also need to bring with you a passport sized and quality photo of yourself with your name and date of birth printed on the back, you can read our new application information sheet for more details.

The application fee is outlined in our list of fees and charges.

Replace a licence

Your high risk work licence can be replaced online or you can post the application to replace a high risk work licence to us.

Renew a licence

We will mail a renewal form to you two months before your licence is due to expire. You will need to complete the form and lodge it at an Australia Post office, you can read our renewal information sheet for more details.

If you have not received your renewal notice or need any assistance, please contact us on 13 10 50.

Further information

Guidance material

Safe Work Australia has guidance material on:

Hoist licences

You need a high risk work licence if you want to operate a hoist in NSW.

Hoists come under four basic categories. They are:

  1. boom-type elevating work platform
  2. materials hoist
  3. personnel and material hoists

Before you can apply for a national licence to perform high risk work to operate the types of hoists listed below, a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) must assess your training, skills and knowledge using the relevant 'assessment instrument' under realistic workplace conditions.

Boom -type elevating work platform (WP)

Covers the operation of telescoping devices, hinged devices, or articulated devices (or any combination of these) used to support a platform on which personnel, equipment and materials may be elevated to perform work and where the boom length is 11 metres or more.

The length of the boom is the greater of the following:

  • the vertical distance from the surface supporting the boom-type elevating work platform to the floor, with the platform extended to its maximum height
  • the horizontal distance from from the centre point of the boom's rotation to the outer edge of the platform, with the platform extended to its maximum distance

A WP high risk work licence is required when operating a telehandler fitted with a personnel box with operating controls in the box, and the boom length is 11 metres or more.

Materials platform hoist (HM)

Covers the operation of a builder's hoist by which only goods or materials and not personnel may be hoisted and where the car, bucket or platform is cantilevered from, and travels up and down externally to, a face of the support structure.

Personnel and material hoists (HP)

Covers the operation of a builder's hoist in which personnel, goods and/or materials may be hoisted, and which comprises a car, structure, machinery or other equipment associated with the hoist, and which may be either a cantilever hoist, a tower hoist, or a multiple winch operation.

Eligibility criteria

You are eligible to obtain a licence if you:

  • are at least 18 years old
  • complete a recognised training course and have been assessed as competent by an assessor working for the RTO
  • can use English at a level that enables the safe performance of high risk work.

Application process

The assessor will have the application forms you need for a new card after you have completed your training and assessment. You will then take those forms to your nearest Australia Post office as well as 100 points of ID.

You will also need to bring with you a passport sized and quality photo of yourself with your name and date of birth printed on the back, you can read our new application information sheet for more details.

The application fee is outlined in our list of fees and charges.

Replacing a licence

Your high risk work licence can be replaced online or you can post the application form to replace a high risk work licence or general construction induction card to us.

Renew a licence

We will mail a renewal form to you two months before your licence is due to expire. You will need to complete the form and lodge it at an Australia Post Office, you can read our renewal information sheet for more details.

If you have not received your renewal notice or need any assistance, please contact on 13 10 50.

Pressure equipment licences

You need a high risk work licence if you want to operate certain types of reciprocating steam engines, turbines and boilers in NSW.

Before you can apply for a national licence to perform high risk work to operate the types of pressure equipment listed below, a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) must assess your training, skills and knowledge using the relevant 'assessment instrument' under realistic workplace conditions.

Reciprocating steam engine (ES)

This licence allows you to operate and use a reciprocating steam engine containing a piston of 250 millimetres or more in diameter, including expanding (steam) reciprocating engines.

Turbine (TO)

This licence allows your operate and use:

  • a turbine that has an output of 500 kilowatts or more and
  • is multi-wheeled or
  • is capable of a speed  greater than 3,600 rpm or
  • has attached condensers, or
  • has a multi-stage heat extraction process

Standard boiler (BS)

This licence allows you to operate a standard boiler with a single fuel source that does not have a pre-heater, superheater or economiser attached.

Advanced boiler (BA)

This licence allows you to operate a boiler, including a standard boiler, which may have one or more of the following:

  • multiple fuel sources
  • pre-heater
  • superheater
  • economiser.

For licence holders issued with a licence before 1 January 2015

From 1 January 2015 there are only two boiler classes:

  • standard boiler (BS)
  • advanced boiler (BA)

The requirements for the previous basic boiler (BB), intermediate boiler (BI) and advanced boilers (BA) licences have now been compressed into the two new licence classes.

Basic boiler (BB) licence holders

If you hold a basic boiler (BB) licence you do not need to take any action and we will update your licence to the new standard boiler (BS) when you renew your licence.

Intermediate boiler (BI) licence holders

The components of the old intermediate boiler (BI) class have now been split between the two new boiler classes.

If you hold an intermediate boiler licence and you need to operate a boiler with advance features you must enrol with an RTO to undertake advanced boiler operation training and assessment.

Advanced boiler (BA) licence holders

You do not need take any action if you hold an existing Advance boiler (BA) licence

Eligibility criteria

You are eligible to obtain a licence if you:

  • are at least 18 years old
  • complete a recognised training course and have been assessed as competent by an assessor working for the RTO
  • can use English at a level that enables the safe performance of high risk work.

Application process

The assessor will have the application forms you need for a new card after you have completed your training and assessment. You will then take those forms to your nearest Australia Post office as well as 100 points of ID.

You will also need to bring with you a passport sized and quality photo of yourself with your name and date of birth printed on the back, you can read our new application information sheet for more details.

The application fee is outlined in our list of fees and charges.

Replacing a licence

Your high risk work licence can be replaced online or you can post an application form to replace a high risk work licence to us.

Renew a licence

We will mail a renewal form to you two months before your licence is due to expire. You will need to complete the form and lodge it at an Australia Post Office, you can read our renewal information sheet for more details.

If you have not received your renewal notice or need any assistance, please contact on 13 10 50.

Reach stacker licences

A reach stacker incorporates an attachment for lifting, moving and travelling with a shipping container, but does not include a portainer crane.

To operate a reach stacker with a capacity of more than three tonnes in NSW, you will need to hold a high risk work licence in the reach stacker class (RS), or one of the slewing mobile crane classes being C0, C1, C2  or C6.

To obtain a reach stacker licence you will need to enrol with a registered training organisation and successfully complete the required training and licence assessment.

Eligibility criteria

You are eligible to obtain a licence if you:

  • are at least 18 years old
  • complete a recognised training course and have been assessed as competent by an assessor working for the RTO
  • can use English at a level that enables the safe performance of high risk work.

Application process

The assessor will have the application forms you need for a new card after you have completed your training and assessment. You will then take those forms to your nearest Australia Post office as well as 100 points of ID.

You will also need to bring with you a passport sized and quality photo of yourself with your name and date of birth printed on the back, you can read our new application information sheet for more details.

The application fee is outlined in our list of fees and charges.

Replacing a licence

Your high risk work licence can be replaced online or you can post an application form to replace a high risk work licence to us.

Renew a licence

We will mail a renewal form to you two months before your licence is due to expire. You will need to complete the form and lodge it at an Australia Post Office, you can read our renewal information sheet for more details.

If you have not received your renewal notice or need any assistance, please contact on 13 10 50.

Getting a new licence

You will need to be trained and assessed by a registered training organisations (RTOs) that is listed on the National Register of Vocational Education and Training (VET). The RTO must also have entered into an agreement with us. You can find a trainer online

Obligations for direct supervision and evidence of licences

You must see written evidence from the worker that they have the relevant high risk work licence for that work.

Direct supervisions and evidence of licences

You must ensure direct supervision of your workers, unless the nature or circumstances of a particular task make direct supervision impracticable or unnecessary, and the reduced level of supervision will not place the health or safety of the supervised worker or anyone else at risk.

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