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Do You Need A License for an Excavator

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  • 03-10-2019
Do You Need A License for an Excavator

Renting an excavator for a DIY project will sometimes be the best option available. But most people are unsure of how to operate the machine correctly. So what are the requirements for operating a mini digger and does the user need a licence?

Is A Licence Needed To Operate An Excavator?

You do not need a licence to operate an excavator to perform basic excavation jobs on private property. But in many excavation jobs, you will need to prove that you are adequately skilled and experienced in safe operation. Many sites will require certification before you are permitted to work such machinery. There are up to 29 different categories of high-risk excavator works that you cannot perform without a proper licence.


Work Health and Safety Act

The government introduced this act in 2011. The aim was to make it easier for DIY workers to use various plant equipment without needing a licencing. However, the act still requires you to consider certain aspects of the job. According to the law, you are still required to ensure that the equipment is used safely and appropriately. This can be classified under the Responsibility and Competency.

As the person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU) the buck stops with you. This means that should anything happen on the job site, such as damage to property or injury, you will be expected to bear the responsibility solely. The law still requires you to adhere to specific guidelines that will guarantee the competence of the work done, as well as the safety of the workers on site.


Some of these guidelines include ensuring that;

  1. The operators are trained appropriately.
  2. You adequately supervise, instruct and supply information to the operators.
  3. Excavator is used efficiently to reduce any potential damage to property or injury to the workers.
  4. All maintenance requirements are adhered to; including but not limited to cleaning and repair, inspection and safe shutdown.

You do not require a licence to operate an excavator, especially for DIY operations. However, in some circumstances, you will have to prove that you are competent enough to handle the machinery, bypassing a competency test.


Example proof that you are competent to operate an excavator.

  1. Logbooks are detailing an on-the-job training that was conducted by a skilled excavator operator.
  2. A certificate issued by the Workplace Health and Safety-Regulation-2008 confirming that the excavator had successfully attained the required conditions as envisaged by the National-Unit of Competency-Conduct.

    If you require plant machinery hire within the Durham or Washington area, contact our excavator hire company today to discuss your needs.