Cranes and mechanical lifting gear are used to handle excessively heavy loads and, as such, create the potential for serious injury or death.
What's a crane?
A crane is any appliance intended for raising or lowering a load and moving it horizontally, including the supporting structure of the crane and its foundations, including:
- tower cranes
- self-erecting tower cranes
- derrick cranes
- portable boom cranes
- bridge and gantry cranes
- vehicle loading cranes
- non-slewing mobile cranes
- slewing mobile cranes
- material hoists
- personnel hoists.
What's not a crane?
Note, the following items of plant are not considered cranes under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 and are not subject to the requirements below:
- industrial lift trucks
- earthmoving machinery
- amusement devices
- industrial robots
- building maintenance equipment
- suspended scaffolding
What are the risks?
- falling objects (e.g. materials, components) due to plant or equipment failure or operator error
- operators falling while accessing the crane or performing maintenance
- plant rollovers or collapse in the event of a structural failure.
The following Queensland codes of practice provide guidance on managing the risks associated with specific types of cranes:
- Mobile Crane Code of Practice 2006 (PDF, 1.34 MB)
- Tower Crane Code of Practice 2017 (PDF, 1.56 MB)
- Rural Plant Code of Practice 2004 (PDF, 0.63 MB)
The specific legislative requirements that apply generally to all plant and mobile plant are listed here. The table below lists only the legislative requirements that apply specifically to cranes.
|Specific legislative requirements for cranes|
Plant that lifts and suspends loads
The person with management or control of the plant at a workplace must ensure that the plant used is specifically designed to lift or suspend the load or, if that is not reasonably practicable, that the plant does not cause a greater risk to health and safety than if specifically designed plant were used.
Additional requirements apply for plant not specifically designed to lift or suspend a person
|Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011|
Plant not specifically designed to lift or suspend a person
The person with management or control of plant at a workplace must ensure that:
WHS Regulation 2011, s219
Safe work method statements
Safe work method statements are required for all high risk construction work, including any construction work that:
WHS Regulation 2011, s291 and s299
High risk work licence
The use of the following types of crane and lifting equipment is defined as high risk work and requires users to be appropriately licensed:
View more information about obtaining a high risk work licence for the use of concrete placement booms
WHS Regulation 2011, s81 and schedule 3 – High risk work licences and classes of high risk work
The collapse or failure of an excavation or of any shoring supporting an excavation is a dangerous incident and must be notified to Workplace Health and Safety Queensland.
View additional information about the notification of dangerous incidents, including the notification form
Work Health and Safety Act 2011, s35, s36, s37, s38 and s39
Registration of plant designs
Certain types of crane and lifting equipment require registration of their design with Workplace Health and Safety Queensland:
Exceptions to the requirement to register the plant design include cranes or hoists that are manually powered and tow trucks.
View information about registering plant designs
WHS Regulation 2011, s243 and schedule 5 – Registration of plant and plant designs
Registration of plant
Certain types of crane and lifting equipment require registration with Workplace Health and Safety Queensland:
Note, plant registration requirements are in addition to plant design registration requirements.
View information about registering plant
WHS Regulation 2011, s246 and schedule 5 – Registration of plant and plant designs