Operating an EWP is a common sight across Australian industries due to their ability to quickly and easily enable people to access areas at height while reducing the risk of a person falling.
However, operating an EWP doesn’t come without its own hazards and risks and changes in Victoria have increased health and safety obligations on organisations operating EWPs.
Safety observers, recommended at all times during EWP operation to initiate prompt rescue, must now be trained in the operation of the EWP. If operation of the EWP requires a high-risk work licence, like a boom type EWP extending beyond 11m, then the safety observer must also hold the same high risk work licence.
If the EWP type doesn’t require operators to hold a high-risk work licence, then operators and safety observers should both hold evidence of a nationally recognised competency in EWP operation including for scissor lifts, boom lifts below 11m as well as vertical mast lift style EWPs that are common in large retail environments.
These new obligations in Victoria complement the existing obligations across Australia, including:
- Demonstrating why a type of EWP was chosen over another, especially when there are different hazards that may suit a particular type of EWP over others.
- Ensuring that those operating an EWP, including transport drivers, have the right competencies or licences to operate the specific EWP.
- Ensuring that safe systems of work are in place for all EWP operation, including during site delivery and collection of EWPs.
- The use of a full body safety harness when using a boom-type EWP.
- Completing pre-start inspections for EWPs as well as harnesses when required for safe operation.
- Specific obligations when managing overhead electrical hazards including, but not limited to the use of electrical spotters.
- The availability of emergency procedures and resources to rescue operators should they become sick, injured or stranded at height.
- Ensuring that EWPs are subject to an effective preventative maintenance and inspection program, including pre-start inspections and the keeping of records.
Further information on the changes to EWP obligations in Victoria can be found here. If you need further assistance to understand your EWP obligations, contact Verus today to discuss your requirements.