WorkSafe WA has reissued their warning for employees and employers to be cautious of fake high risk licenses which may be circulating on construction sites across the state.
Last week the safety authority issued a warning about fake high risk licenses after 2 workers discovered their licenses were not authentic when trying to have them renewed in WA.
Now WorkSafe have received further reports that these licenses are being made up quickly and cheaply in countries such as Thailand for workers wishing to gain access to high risk work opportunities in Oz.
Read what SafetyCulture.com.au reported on the issue:
WorkSafe WA Commissioner Lex McCulloch said they have received additional reports of fraudulent licences since after they issued a warning this week.
“We issued a warning on Tuesday to check on NSW-issued High Risk Work Licences after two fake licences were discovered in WA,” said Mr McCulloch.
“We have since received unconfirmed reports that fraudulent licences can be obtained overseas quickly and at low cost in places such as Thailand. Although the report is hearsay at this stage, it is good practice to make sure licences are genuine.
Hence, I am repeating the warning on checking these licences and recommending that all High Risk Work Licences be verified before accepting them, no matter where they were issued.
According to Western Australia’s Worksafe Commissioner Lex McCulloch, workers need the right permits to be able to legally operate dangerous machinery – it is literally a matter of life and death. To think that workers may be engaging in scaffolding work or operating cranes etc. without the necessary licenses to do so, is extremely concerning.
Who knows how many accidents could have occurred already in the state, or anywhere in Oz as a result of incompetent workers without the necessary high risk license being given access to dangerous machinery or being allowed to undertake high risk tasks?
The Federal police have been brought in to investigate the fake licences and they believe there are more in circulation but they do not yet know who is behind this issue.
Anyone wishing to verify high risk work licenses, their own or their employees’ can do so quickly and easily on WorkSafe’s website’s homepage. According to WorkSafe it only takes a matter of minutes to verify a license on the website.
Mr McCulloch said this on the website:
“Simply click on Advanced Search in the Search for Licence Holders box, then select the type of licence from the drop-down menu and enter the licence number. The checking facility will verify the authenticity of the licence.
Mr McCulloch said licences obtained in other states can easily be verified with the relevant authority in the State or Territory of issue.
“As I said earlier this week, it is of great concern that holders of High Risk Work Licences may not be adequately trained to perform high risk work safely and competently, and I urge employers, assessors and trainers to verify any High Risk Work Licences presented to them.”