SafeWork Australia has replaced its "Draft model Code of
Practice – Cranes" publication with a suite of guidance
material that contains 10 guides and information sheets targeted
toward managing the risks associated with using cranes in the
The departure from a Code of Practice has implications under the
Work Health and Safety Act (2011) (the Act), as
"guidance material" does not satisfy the definition of an
"approved code of practice" contained in s 274. Normal
rules of evidence and admissibility will apply to the guidance
material in proceedings commenced under the Act.
This means that the guidance material would sit below a
traditional Code of Practice in the hierarchy of information that
makes up industry practice.
The guidance material has introduced a series of new information
sheets based on specific items of crane-related plant. These six
information sheets provide targeted advice on the risks associated
with the following types of cranes:
bridge and gantry cranes
vehicle loading cranes
vessel mounted cranes
crane-lifted work boxes
powered mobile plant used as a crane, and
quick-hitches for earthmoving machinery.
The guidance material does not create any substantial
legislative or regulatory change, however, any person involved in
the operation, design, maintenance and management of cranes should
consider the advice in the information sheets.
In addition to these information sheets, the material includes a
general guide and specific guides for tower cranes, mobile cranes
and inspecting and maintaining cranes. The language used in these
guides has been updated to be more consistent with the Australian
The material contained in these guides is also consistent with
material in the previous draft Code of Conduct and maintains
specific safety duties for a:
crane owner and other persons with management or control of the
crane or the workplace where a crane will operate
competent person who inspects cranes, and
The guidance material continues to emphasise more general work
health and safety obligations of PCBUs, officers and workers. You
should keep these guides in mind when installing, commissioning,
testing, inspecting, maintaining, decommissioning, dismantling, and
altering cranes to ensure workers and other people are not exposed
to health and safety risks, so far as is reasonably
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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