Licence to Operate a Forklift Truck (HRWL)

Course Code



2 days



This course specifies the skills and knowledge required to operate a forklift truck safely.

Forklift truck means a powered industrial truck equipped with lifting media made up of a mast and an elevating load carriage to which is attached a pair of fork arms or other arms that can be raised 900 mm or more above the ground but does not include a pedestrian-operated truck or a pallet truck.

A person performing this work is required to hold a forklift truck high risk work (HRW) licence.

This unit requires a person operating a forklift truck to plan the work, conduct routine checks on a forklift truck, shift loads in a safe manner, and safely shut down and secure equipment after completing operations.


A person who demonstrates competency in this unit must provide evidence of safely operating a forklift truck and satisfy all of the unit elements, performance criteria and foundations skills requirements on at least one occasion including:

  • applying risk assessment and hazard control strategies, including hierarchy of control as applied to safely operating a forklift truck
  • carrying out post-start operational checks, which must ensure:
    • attachment movements and control functions are smooth and comply with operating requirements
    • hazard warning systems (e.g. lights and horns) are functional
    • safety devices are checked, including
      • deadman’s switch
      • emergency descent device (hydraulic)
      • reversing beepers
    • start-up is in accordance with procedures
    • steering, transmission and brake functions comply with operating requirements
  • carrying out pre-start operational checks, which must include:
    • battery charge checks, as required
    • ensuring availability of logbook, records, handbook and/or operating manuals
    • fitting and interpreting forklift truck data plate
    • fluid checks
    • forklift truck attachment security checks
    • identifying approved modifications and/or attachments fitted, to manufacturer specifications in accordance with forklift truck or attachment data plate
    • locating, identifying and confirming all controls
    • safety equipment checks
    • signage and label visibility and legibility checks
    • updating records as required
  • communicating with other workplace personnel through
    • using appropriate worksite protocols
    • listening
    • making and interpreting hand signals
    • questioning to confirm understanding
    • signage
    • verbal and non-verbal language
    • written instructions
  • complying with Commonwealth, state and territory work health and safety (WHS)/occupational health and safety (OHS) legislation and regulations
  • conducting and monitoring safe forklift truck operations that include moving loads safely, driving and manoeuvring, picking up and placing loads at various stack heights and carrying out all functions to the maximum height and load capacity
  • driving a forklift truck with load in forward and reverse, while maintaining visibility
  • planning and preparing for forklift truck operations including:
    • conducting a workplace risk assessment
    • identifying hazards associated with operating a forklift truck, which must include:
      • forklift truck instability (e.g. due to overloading, poor load placement, irregular loads)
      • ground conditions (e.g. condition of pavement, slopes)
      • insufficient lighting
      • overhead hazards (e.g. electric lines, service pipes)
      • traffic (e.g. pedestrians, vehicles, other plant) and the risk of collision with people, moving plant and fixed structures
      • weather conditions (e.g. wind, lightning, rain)
    • selecting hazard prevention strategies in accordance with the hierarchy of control
    • putting in place effective controls for identified hazards
      visually checking a forklift truck for any damage or defects prior to operation including

      • evidence of damage
      • leaks
      • structural weaknesses (including paint separation or stressed welds)
  • receiving and interpreting workplace instructions, safety information and emergency procedures
  • shutting down a forklift truck in accordance with manufacturer specifications and workplace procedures including
    • parking in a suitable location away from dangerous areas
    • correctly positioning fork arms (tips down, tilted forward, lowered to ground)
    • selecting appropriate transmission/gear for parking (relevant to transmission type)
    • applying hand/parking brake
    • turning off engine power
    • removing ignition key as required
    • shutting off LPG gas cylinder valve as required
    • securing equipment in accordance with manufacturer specifications and against unauthorised operation
    • securing site
    • ensuring access ways are clear
    • identifying and segregating defective equipment and reporting to authorised personnel
    • connecting batteries to charger as required
  • verifying problems and equipment faults, and implementing appropriate response procedures to unplanned and/or unsafe situations including
    • environmental conditions (e.g. wind, lightning, storms)
    • failure/loss of control (e.g. brakes and steering)
    • failure of equipment (e.g. hydraulic system)
    • forklift truck instability (e.g. due to deterioration of ground condition, overloading, poor load placement, irregular loads).
  • Candidates must be 18 years of age or older
  • Ability to read, write and understand English
  • Present photo I.D. on arrival
  • Complete a ‘Fitness for Work’ form – Candidates are required to declare any medical issue that may exclude them from full participation
  • Wear normal work clothing, enclosed footwear and remove all jewellery prior to commencement
  • This course is delivered over two (2) days.
  • Training and assessment is delivered face to face at Altrad’s premises
  • Upon arrangement, training can be conducted on-site at the premises of our clients providing there is suitable infrastructure and training facilities. Contact us for more details
  • Assessment will include a WorkSafe written calculations and theory assessment and practical demonstration

NOTE: WorkSafe written assessments are ‘Closed book’.

If you are found not yet competent, you may re-sit this assessment. Refer Student Information Book.

On successful completion of this course candidates will be issued with a Nationally Recognised Statement of Attainment for the Unit/s of Competency.

Your Statement of Attainment does not have an expiry date, however, your High Risk Work Licence expires every five (5) years. You must not carry out high risk work until your licence has been renewed.


Contact us for further information.


Adjustments to training can be made for candidates with LLN issues so that they are not disadvantaged in completing this course. Please inform our office at the time of booking your course if you experience any language, literacy or numeracy issues.