Elevating work platforms

  • Elevating work platforms (EWPs) are mobile platforms that lift or lower people and equipment from a base support.

There are different types and can include:

  • Scissor lifts 
  • Self-propelled boom lifts 
  • Trailer or vehicle mounted lifts 
  • Telehandlers with elevating work platform attachments. 

PCBU specific duties


Working with or around EWPs can be dangerous. As a PCBU, you must manage the risks associated with using EWPs, so far as is reasonably practicable. As a PCBU, you must ensure inspections of EWPs in your workplace are carried out in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations.

This includes:

  • pre-operational
  • routine, and
  • periodic and major inspections.

These regular inspections help you detect any potential issues, including signs that the machine, or components of the machine are wearing, not fit for use or needs to be serviced or repaired. If there are any issues, make sure the EWP is fixed and safe before anyone uses it.


As a PCBU, you must ensure that workers have the relevant high-risk work licence (HRWL) before allowing your workers to operate a boom-type EWP where the length of the boom is 11m or more.
For other types of EWPs, you must still make sure the workers operating them know how to operate them safely with the right training, information and instruction. 

Identify operator controls

Different EWP models and brands can have very different controls. Using them incorrectly can lead to serious injury. 
You must identify the operator controls on EWPs to show their: 

  • Nature 
  • Function, and 
  • Direction of operation. 

Safe work method statement (SWMS)

Construction work that uses an EWP is likely to be high risk construction work. This means you must complete a safe work method statement (SWMS) before work begins. For more information on SWMS, please refer to our information sheet. To learn more on how to prepare a SWMS, click here to access our interactive SWMS tool. 

Other people with WHS duties 

Other people with specific WHS duties relating to EWPs include: 

  • EWP designers, manufacturers, importers and suppliers 
  • The EWP owner 
  • People who manage or control the EWP or the workplace where the EWP will operate 
  • The competent person who inspects the EWP 
  • The EWP operator

For more information, please refer to the Model Code of Practice: Managing the risks of plant in the workplace.

For more information

Model Code of Practice

Other resources

  • Did you know

    The WHS regulator in your state or territory can provide practical advice, resources and tools to help you be safe when working in construction. They can also let you know which WHS laws apply to you.