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Do you need a licence to operate a skid steer?

Do you need a licence to operate a skid steer?

So, you’re starting on some home renovations, and have your eye on some skid steer hire. Thanks to the government’s semi-recent overhaul of licences pertaining to certain machines, it’s much easier to hire a skid steer without a licence.

However, this depends on what you’re hiring your skid steer for. While digging holes for your hedges is simple enough, skid steer loaders can be difficult to use in a work environment or for demolition and asbestos removal. Recognising that, the government requires High-Risk Work (HRW) licences for this, as well as requiring a White Card and Verification of Competency (VOC) if your skid steer operation is for work.

When You Don’t Need a Licence

There are actually many instances where you’re not required to hold a licence to operate a skid steer loader at all. These are:

  • When you’re not performing high-risk work like demolition and asbestos removal
  • When you’re in training for a relevant licence class and are being supervised by a licenced person
  • When you’ve applied for a licence and are waiting for the decision on the application
  • When you’re operating the skid steer as part of its manufacture testing, trialling, installation, commissioning, maintenance, servicing, repair, alteration, demolition or disposal. In these instances, the skid steer should be operated without a load except when calibrating it.

When You Need a Verification of Competency

‘Persons Conducting a Business Undertaking’ (PCBU) and employers are required by industry regulations to ensure their workers can perform the tasks related to their job role in plant equipment operation. One way they can do this is by accessing your Verification of Competency (VOC), a nationally recognised method of assessment of your ability to operate plant equipment, including skid steer loaders.

You can take a VOC course formally through a Registered Training Organisation (RTO), who, on completion, will credit you with a Statement of Attainment. You can give this statement to your employer or PCBU as proof of your VOC.

Before going in, make sure you fit the following requirements for enrolment:

  • You’re able to read and write basic English
  • You can pass a language, literacy and numeracy assessment (LLN)
  • You’re at least 16 years old
  • You can provide 2 forms of identification
  • You have all the required PPE
  • You should keep records of your VOC in the event of an accident.

When You Need a White Card

If you want a job in the construction industry, you need a White Card. A White Card is a certification proving you’ve gone through an introductory safety training course. Your White Card is valid until you haven’t done any construction work for two consecutive years – then you have to redo your White Card training. White Card training takes around a day, and you can choose to complete it face-to-face or online. The requirements to enrol in White Card training are:

  • You have 100 points of identification
  • You have a basic understanding of the English language
  • You’ve created a USI
  • You meet the age requirements (which vary by state)

When You Need a High-Risk Work Licence

“High-Risk Work” covers any work involving heavy machinery that still requires a licence. Work requiring a High-Risk Work (HRW) Licence includes:

  • Scaffolding
  • Demolition and asbestos removal
  • Dogging and rigging work
  • Operating certain types of cranes and hoists
  • Operating a forklift
  • Operating a reach stacker
  • Operating a boom-type elevating work platform
  • Operating a boiler, steam turbine or reciprocating steam engine

HRW Licences can be obtained by Australian RTOs. Usually, high-risk work performed when you hire a skid steer involves demolition and asbestos removal.

To obtain a demolition work licence, complete the course ‘CPC30413 – Certificate III in Demolition’ and submit your proof of attainment to WorkSafe Australia along with all other required documentation.

To obtain an asbestos removal licence, submit your application form, supporting documents and required fee to your state WorkCover organisation. However, asbestos removal licence application is usually handled by your PCBU.

Ready to hire a skid steer?

Once you’ve got all your licence requirements filled out, it’s time to hire a skid steer! Eastern Plant hire has skid steers available for hire whenever you need. Contact us today to hire it out.

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