The VTHC OHS Unit often gets enquiries from workers and members of the public regarding what are the particular requirements when it comes to operating certain pieces of equipment.

The law requires you to obtain a licence from WorkSafe to perform high risk work if you work with high risk equipment or plant. You can apply for 29 classes of competency under the licence to perform high risk work.before undertaking certain workplace activities. You must be licensed to perform any of the following types of work:

  • High risk work (e.g. scaffolding and rigging, operating cranes and forklifts, and using boilers and other pressure equipment).  See the OHS Regulations (2017) Part 3.6 - High Risk Work and Part 6.1 Licences for more information.
  • removing specific types and amounts of asbestos - see the Regs Part 4.4 - Asbestos
  • operating a major hazard facility - see the Regs Part 5.2 - Major Hazard Facilities
  • using scheduled carcinogens - see the Regs Part 4.2 - Scheduled Carcinogenic Substances, in addition to Part 4.1 (Hazardous Substances)
  • transporting dangerous goods
  • using dangerous goods that pose a security concern (High Consequence Dangerous Goods)
  • transporting, storing, selling, manufacturing or importing explosives or fireworks
  • using explosives or discharging fireworks

WorkSafe Victoria is responsible for the processing and issue of licences, registrations, notifications and authorisations through its Licensing Branch. The Licensing Branch can be contacted on 1300 852 562. Alternatively, you can go to the Licensing webpage on the WorkSafe Victoria website to get more information on any of the above.  The webpage contains comprehensive information on:

  • Licences to perform 'high risk work'
  • whether licences are required, types of licences and how to apply
  • legal duties
  • Registration of plant and plant designs 

This is a quick and easy way of finding what you need to know about licences, registrations, and notifications required in Victoria for people designing, operating or using certain types of high-risk plant.  WorkSafe documents, including guidance material application forms, can also be accessed on that page.

The licence is valid in every Australian state and territory, enabling holders of such licences to operate high risk equipment under consistent standards everywhere in Australia.

Current licence/certificates of competency holders:

From 1 July 2012 all Certificates of Competency issued by WorkSafe Victoria expired and employers must not allow people to perform high risk work without a valid licence to perform high risk work. These new licences must have a photo. Visit the WorkSafe website to read more and see how to transfer a Certificate of Competency to a licence. Read more.

 Last amended April 2019