New licence for practical telehandler training

Victorian workers, including those on farms, will be given more support to operate telehandlers safely under WorkSafe licencing reforms.


Introduced today, the Occupational Health and Safety Amendment (Telehandlers) Regulations 2024 establish a new non-slewing telehandler high risk work licence (TV licence), which will give operators the choice to undertake training specific to the type of work they will perform.

Workers will be able to apply for the licence from 1 July, once the new training package is available through registered training organisations.

Under the changes, operators of non-slewing telehandlers with a rated capacity greater than three tonnes will have the choice of completing tailored training to obtain the new telehandler licence, or completing a non-slewing mobile crane course and applying for the existing non-slewing crane licence (CN licence).

Operators will not be required to hold both licences to operate a non-slewing telehandler.

Other mobile crane high risk work licence (HRWL) classes will continue to be valid for telehandler operation, providing the worker has had appropriate training relevant to the telehandler and any attachment they are operating.

The changes follow extensive consultation with stakeholders and an in-depth safety analysis to understand how telehandlers are being used across industries.

The new telehandler licence will provide the option for specialised training for operating a non-slewing telehandler with a range of different attachments, such as the bucket or hay fork more commonly used in agriculture.

Tragically, two workers have lost their lives while operating telehandlers in the past three years.

WorkSafe Executive Director of Health and Safety Narelle Beer said the changes would make sure telehandler operators received the training most suited to their needs.

"The new licence will give operators the flexibility to choose the option that is right for the way telehandlers are used within their workplace," Dr Beer said.

"We know telehandlers are increasingly being used in agriculture and, while they are useful additions to many farming businesses, they require the appropriate training and licensing to make sure they are operated safely."

The new licence will not be valid for slewing telehandlers and further competency or other high risk work licences may be required where a work platform attachment is used.

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