Every State in Australia has in place an Occupational Health and Safety Act (OH&S), which aims to protect the health, safety and welfare of people at work. In these Acts it is clearly stated that there is a duty of care to ensure workplace safety. In broad terms each State OH&S Act specifically embraces the following:
- Employers must provide information, instruction, training and supervision necessary to ensure the health and safety of employees at work.
- Manufacturers and suppliers of plant must ensure equipment is safe to use when properly used and must make available adequate information about the conditions for the safe use of the equipment manufactured or supplied.
- Employees must co-operate with efforts to comply with OH&S requirements.
What this means, in reality, is that there needs to be some form of proof that the operator has been trained in the safe use of an elevating work platform (EWP) to have their cards issued. Verbal instruction is not an effective method of training as it lacks proof of training evidence. The EWP Operator Training Program or ‘Yellow Card’ is the result of the EWPA helping the industry to comply with the OH&S Act.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
The Trained Operator Card is proof of completion in one or more modules in various types of EWPs. There
are five different EWP training modules plus a transport module.
The modules include:
- Trailer mounted Boom lift TL
- Self Propelled Boom lift BL
- Vertical Lift VL
- Scissor Lift SL
- Truck Mounted Boom TM
- Transporting (Load Restraint) T
Whilst these are all classed as EWPs, each one is very different in use and safe operation. The transport module is aimed at transporters of EWPs, allocators and the like.
The EWPA Duty of care ‘Yellow Card’ is a nationally recognised industry training program developed by the EWPA in consultation with members and industry. The intention of this program is to assist operators, employers, equipment owners and manufactures in complying with the OH&S regulation. The Yellow Card
provides the holder with evidence of training in a particular type of EWP where no licence exists.
- The Yellow Card provides evidence that the operators of specific types of EWPs have been trained in the safe use of the work platform.
- The supplier, employer and user all have documentary evidence that the required ‘duty of care’ has been met or exceeded.
WHAT ARE THE ALTERNATIVES?
The EWPA Yellow Card is the Association’s method of meeting the duty of care requirements. However, other methods can be used. Such methods include having in-house training schemes or user specific programs. The key elements are that any programs need to have a structured training format, delivered by a suitably qualified trainer. The training content should meet the Australian Standard 2550.10, manufacturers’ safe operating procedures and be in line with the unit of competency TLILIC508A (Licence required to operate a boom type EWP over 11m.) The training outcomes are to be documented and a certificate of participation, statement of attainment or proof of training issued.
WHAT IF I DO NOTHING?
The ‘do nothing’ approach is a time bomb. A blatant disregard of the law (the Act is law) will result in hefty fines and or jail.
WHERE DOES THE HIGH RISK LICENCE: 11M BOOM LICENSE (TLILIC508A) (WP) FIT IN?
This licence covers boom type EWPs 11 metres and over (e.g.: truck mount, trailer mount & self propelled). It is recommended that you contact your State Regulatory Authority as licensing procedures may differ slightly state by state.
DO I NEED BOTH A YELLOW CARD AND WP LICENCE?
If the operator is to only operate a EWP, self propelled, truck or trailer mounted above 11 metre then the operator must comply with state or national regulation for high risk licensing. For operators of any boom type EWPs under 11 metres, Scissor lifts (of any height) or Vertical mast/personal lifts must obtain theory and practical training so that compliance with the OH&S regulation is met. This can be confusing but an example may clarify the point.
Example: You have just gained your 11m boom licence using a Trailer Lift with a boom length of 11.2m. Next day you have to operate a Self Propelled unit. Both EWPs are over 11m but very different units. Your Yellow Card will indicate whether you have been trained for this type of unit, if not, you will need training before use.
The OH&S Acts are there to protect you in the workplace. The EWPA duty of care Trained Operator Program (Yellow Card) is an industry initiative helping to provide a safer working environment for all stake holders.
For further information on the EWPA training programs please contact us 0739010804 / 0488 422 626