Safety licence essentials

Workers and businesses need to be licensed before they can undertake a range of high risk activities.

To work on a construction site in NSW you need a general construction induction card, also known as a white card. To apply for a white card you must complete general construction induction training with a Registered Training Organisation (RTO). You will need to complete this training before starting work.

SafeWork NSW recognises white cards issued by other WHS state and territory regulators.

You need a high risk work licence to undertake high risk work. This includes operating cranes, forklifts, hoists, pressure equipment, scaffolding, rigging and dogging. Before you start work or apply for a licence, you must complete high risk work training with an RTO.

You need to keep your licence available for inspection.

High risk work licences are valid for five years and recognised in all states and territories of Australia.

Visit SafeWork NSW to find a registered training organisation to get a high risk work licence or check if your previous training can be recognised.

Read more about the specific laws that apply to high risk work. These general work health and safety laws also apply in any situation.

Employer responsibilities for high risk workers

If you employ high risk workers you must verify that they have an appropriate licence for the high risk work they are doing.

You must ensure these workers are directly supervised, unless their task makes direct supervision impracticable or unnecessary, and reduced supervision will not put the worker or anyone else at risk.

Renew your licence

SafeWork NSW will send you a renewal form two months before your licence is due to expire. Complete the form and lodge it at Australia Post. If you have not received your renewal notice or need any assistance, contact SafeWork NSW on 13 10 50 or email contact@safework.nsw.gov.au.

To remove asbestos, you need the right type of licence. There are two different removal licences, and another licence to be an asbestos assessor.

Class A licence - to remove friable and non-friable asbestos, and asbestos contaminated dust and debris

Class B licence - to remove non-friable asbestos, like fibro sheets, and any asbestos contaminated dust or debris which is secondary to that removal.

Asbestos assessor licence - to do air monitoring, clearance inspections, and issue clearance certificates.

Fines apply to anyone who appoints an unlicensed asbestos removalist, and to licensed asbestos removalists who fail to notify SafeWork NSW of licensed asbestos removal work.

You don’t need a licence to remove:

  • less than 10 square metres of non-friable asbestos
  • dust and debris associated with removing less than 10 square metres of non-friable asbestos
  • a minor asbestos contamination not associated with removing asbestos.

All asbestos removal work must be carried out safely according to work health and safety legislation.

Who can apply for an Asbestos licence?

To apply for an Asbestos licence you must:

  • be over 18 (and ensure any supervisor is over 18)
  • name an appropriately qualified person/s who will supervise the asbestos removal
  • select class A or class B asbestos removal work
  • provide a certificate of currency for workers compensation insurance if you have employees and are not an exempt employer
  • hold a general construction induction training card, or training certification pending the issue of a card
  • pay the applicable fee (as listed in our list of fees and charges)

The licence will last for five years from the date of issue.

You can read more about asbestos licences in the guide for applicants (PDF).

Responsibilities when removing Asbestos

You must notify SafeWork NSW five days before you start licensed asbestos removal.

If you are an employer you also need to have your workers' health monitored before they begin asbestos removal work and then at least once every two years.

You can add multiple supervisors to your licence by completing this nomination form (PDF).

Asbestos Assessor Licence

You need an asbestos assessor licence to do air monitoring, clearance inspections or the issue clearance certificates for class A asbestos removal work.

To apply for an Asbestos Assessor licence you need to demonstrate you have carried out training (or have adequate experience) in the asbestos removal industry over the past two years. For more information see the  Guide for applicants for asbestos removal and asbestos assessor licences and notifications (PDF).

You must complete the application for an asbestos assessor licence (PDF) and include:

  • a certified copy of your training certificate
  • evidence of your knowledge of the industry and experience in the past two years to inspect/monitor the air for asbestos fibres at friable asbestos removal sites
  • two certified passport photos and 100 points evidence of identity.

For more information about safely doing asbestos removal work check out the How to safely remove asbestos code of practice (PDF).

Demolition work can be dangerous so you need a licence. There are two types of demolition licences:

Demolition licence

This licence is required to demolish (or partly demolish), any building, structure or installation that:

  • is more than 15 metres high
  • is a chemical installation
  • involves a tower crane on site
  • involves a mobile crane with a rated capacity of more than 100 tonnes
  • has structural components that are pre-tensioned or post-tensioned
  • involves floor propping
  • involves explosives.

Restricted demolition licence

This licence is required to demolish (or partly demolish), any building, structure or installation that:

  • is four to 15 metres high involving mechanical demolition such as using excavators, bulldozers or cranes
  • is 10 to 15 metres high and affects its structural integrity
  • involves using load shifting machinery on suspended floors.

Apply for a demolition licence

To get a demolition licence you need to be at least 18 years old. Partnerships and businesses can get a licence if they satisfy all the eligibility criteria and application requirements. Those requirements include that you are determined to have been fit and proper for the last two calendar years.

Complete the Demolition licence application form (PDF).You must:

  • select either restricted demolition or demolition
  • provide a certificate of currency for workers compensation insurance if you have employees and are not an exempt employer
  • provide a certificate of currency for public liability insurance that lists the business activity as demolition
  • nominate a supervisor involved managing the business. They must have completed the approved training and demonstrated experience (generally three years) in demolition related work

The licence fee is listed in the SafeWork NSW fees and charges and you can submit the application by email to: licensing@safework.nsw.gov.au or post to: SafeWork NSW, Locked Bag 2906, Lisarow NSW 2252.

SafeWork NSW Guide for applicants for demolition licences and notifications (PDF) has more information or call 13 10 50.

Training requirements

Training requirements

Since 1 January 2016, SafeWork NSW has approved 11 units of competency from the Certificate III in Demolition (CPC30413) and Certificate IV in Demolition (CPC41013) to meet training requirements for individuals and nominated supervisors. Details about these units are available on the SafeWork NSW website.

If you completed the following courses before 31 December 2015, the qualifications will be recognised in licence applications up to 31 December 2018:

  • 91181NSW Course in Demolition Supervision (Restricted)
  • 91182NSW Course in Demolition (Unrestricted).

SafeWork NSW no longer accepts other qualifications to meet the approved training requirement.

SafeWork NSW Guide for applicants for demolition licences and notifications (PDF) has more information or call 13 10 50.

Renew your licence

SafeWork NSW will send your renewal form two months before your licence is due to expire. Complete the form and return it to SafeWork NSW. If you have not received your renewal notice or need any assistance, contact us on 13 10 50 or email contact@safework.nsw.gov.au.

Replace your licence

Your high risk work licence and white card can be replaced online as long as your details have not changed (using Mastercard or Visa only).

You will need to enter the details exactly as they appear on your high risk work licence card.

You can also print or email the replace an asbestos removal or asbestos assessor licences application (PDF).

Change your contact details

If you know your high risk work licence or white card number you can check and update your address or contact details by completing an update contact details request.

Alternatively, you can complete the licence enquiry form or change of details form (PDF).