In the past, excavator operation had to fall in line with old safety legislation. However, all businesses in Australia now comply with the Workplace Health and Safety Act 2011, which states that responsibility for excavator licensing falls onto the business owner or site manager.
In legal terms, the person responsible for the site is called a PCBU or a ‘person conducting a business or undertaking.’ Basically, this means that it’s your supervisor’s responsibility to ensure any heavy earthmoving plant on site, including excavators, is operated safely and with care.
It is the PCBU’s responsibility to ensure that operators like you are competent in handling the equipment, and that you’re aware of OH&S regulations, proper operating procedures, how to safely carry and load materials, fitting attachments and basic maintenance.
So, to work as an excavator operator on most sites in Sydney, Melbourne and other States, you don’t need a license – but you do need to prove you are competent and responsible enough to handle an excavator.