Telescopic handler operation - Licence requirements
This information bulletin outlines the licensing requirements to operate a telescopic handler in the Northern Territory. The use of a telescopic handler is considered high risk work (HRW) and requires the operator to hold an appropriate licence to perform high risk work issued by NT WorkSafe.
The licensing of workers aims to ensure that they have the skills and knowledge to perform high risk work in a safe manner so to reduce the health and safety risk to themselves and other persons in the workplace.
A telescopic handler (also known as a variable reach truck, multi-purpose tool carrier or telehandler) can be fitted with a range of attachments that include hydraulic winch, hoisting block & hook, bucket, jib, bucket with grab, grab, earthmoving blade, concrete skip, earthmoving hoe, forks, elevating work platform, tyre handler.
Typically, telescopic handlers are used to travel with their load. When the load is supported on forks, it should be lowered as close to the ground as possible and the boom retracted during travel.
However, when the load is freely suspended, it needs to be elevated to prevent it snagging on the ground or other obstacles. The stability of the telescopic handler may adversely be affected as the load can swing and exert additional dynamic forces. When operating on sloping ground, the potential for instability is increased, as the load will swing further from the point where it is connected to the telescopic handler.
Operators of telescopic handlers must hold an appropriate class of licence for the work performed and attachments used in addition to the training requirements listed in the table listed below.
Training and Licence Requirements
|Attachment fitted||Licence required||Training required|
|When machine is non-slewing and fitted with a jib or used as a crane with a rated capacity of 3 tonne or less||No licence is specified by legislation||Operators must be trained and instructed in the safe use of the plant. This training may incorporate competencies appropriate to non-slewing crane operation|
|When machine is non-slewing and fitted with a jib or used as a crane with a rated capacity greater than 3 tonne||Operators must hold a non-slewing mobile crane Licence (code CN)||Operators must be trained and instructed in the safe use of plant and non-slewing mobile cranes|
|When slewing and fitted with a jib or used as a crane of any description||Operators must hold a slewing mobile crane Licence appropriate for the rated capacity (for example a C2 licence allows for a rated capacity up to 20 tonne)||Operators must be trained and instructed in the safe use of plant and slewing mobile cranes|
|When machine is fitted with forks and similar attachments||No licence is specified by legislation||Operators must be trained and instructed in the safe use of plant. This training may incorporate competencies appropriate to forklift truck operation|
|When machine is fitted with a loader bucket||No particular licence is specified by legislation||Operators must be trained and instructed in the safe use of plant. This training may incorporate competencies appropriate to front end loader operation|
|When machine is fitted with a boom-type elevating work platform greater than 11m||Operators must hold a boom-type elevating work platform licence (code WP)||Operators must be trained and instructed in the safe use of plant and boom-type elevating work platforms.|
Duty of Care
A person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU) who supplies telescopic handlers for hire or a PCBU with control of the workplace where telescopic handlers are operated, have duties under the legislation.
These duties include ensuring hirers and operators possess the relevant high risk work licence to use the telescopic handler. The PCBU will also be required to provide information, instruction and training as is necessary to ensure the operators can perform their work in such a manner that they are not exposed to hazards.
To meet these duties, an appropriate risk assessment must be done to determine what additional information, instruction and training on the various attachment(s) fitted to any telescopic handler, must be provided to the operator. This must occur even though the operator may be the holder of a relevant class of licence for high risk work.
The following information on high risk work licensing is available on the NT WorkSafe website.
- High risk work licence
- High risk work licensing – Worker obligations
- High risk work licensing – PCBU obligations