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Reminder to operators of earthmoving equipment – EPC licences no longer required under new work health and safety laws

Changes to occupational licensing in Queensland take effect from 1 January 2012 when the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 comes into force, following the national decision to license only those occupational classes that meet the agreed criteria for high risk work.

Under the new work health and safety laws, the earthmoving (or loadshifting) classes (known under the existing laws as earthmoving or particular crane (EPC) classes), do not meet the criteria for high risk work and licensing of these classes will end on 31 December 2011.

From 1 January 2012, all persons conducting a business or undertaking (PCBUs) will still have an obligation to ensure their workers are competent to use this class of machinery. Workplace Health and Safety Queensland encourages formal competency-based training and assessment for the operation of this equipment through registered training organisations. Formal training and assessment, together with currency of experience will go a long way in demonstrating the competency of the operator.

While licences will cease being issued from 1 January 2012, the statements of attainment issued by registered training organisations will be suitable documentary evidence of competency-based training.

These changes should help to reduce circumstances where operators who have not been employed in the operation of machinery for many years are considered competent merely because they hold a licence issued many years earlier.

Existing licence holders are not impacted by the changes; however they should retain their licences as part of their portfolio of evidence to demonstrate their competency.

In Queensland, licensing of the EPC classes will continue until 31 December 2011 as required under the current regulations. Workplace Health and Safety Queensland ceased charging a fee for these licences from 1 July 2011.

For more information about the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 and the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011, and up to date information on occupational licensing visit or call the Workplace Health and Safety Queensland Licensing Unit on 1300 655 986.

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Last reviewed
23 December 2011
Last updated
5 November 2015
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