Do you need a High Risk Work Licence?

We get asked this question a lot! And there seems to be some confusion especially with employers as to when they need to have someone HRW qualified or properly trained to monitor their boiler operation.

Australian Standard AS2593 – 2004 states:

Attendance Category Type Maximum output capacity Supervision By Checks
1. Unattended Operation Water tube steam boilers
Fire Tube Hot water Boilers
Combined water tube fire tube steam boilers
5 MW
10 MW
Trained person 24 Hour interval
2. Limited Attendance Boiler Water Tube Boilers
Combined water tube fire tube boilers
Other types including fire tube steam boilers
20 MW
5 MW
Accredited Boiler Attendant (HRW Licence) 4 hour intervals
4 hour intervals
12 hour intervals
3. Attended Operation All Types of Boiler No Limits Accredited Boiler Attendant (HRW Licence) Continuous monitoring

Definition of a Trained Person (AS2593 – 1.3.17):
A person who has received adequate instruction and training provided by the owner in the operation of the unattended boiler(s).


Therefore do you need training?

If you operate a Limited Attendance or Attended Boiler, Turbine or Reciprocating Engine with a piston diameter greater than 250mm – YES
If you operate an Unattended Boiler and cannot provide training for monitoring personnel by a qualified (TAE40110) boiler trainer – YES


Do you need a HRW licence & assessment?

If you operate a Limited Attendance or Attended Boiler, Turbine or reciprocating engine with a piston dia greater than 250mm – YES
If you operate an Unattended Boiler – NO provided you have received proper training by a qualified (TAE40110) boiler trainer, either ourselves, or provided by your company.

Training & Assessment Dilemma – Unattended Boilers

Now here’s the dilemma for Unattended Boiler operations and maintenance staff.

If you don’t have a qualified operator with a HRW licence in your organization who is also a qualified trainer, will you be able to demonstrate that you have received adequate instruction and training? We suggest you won’t!

This is where we come in and provide the training.

We also recommend that you have a qualified HRW licensed Pressure Vessel operator on your team as well. Why? Because the cost of assessment is very low in the overall scheme of things, so why not “cover your tail” and have correctly trained and qualified persons on your site irrespective of the above standard.

Why – well when your unattended boiler has a feed water pump, feed water Control Valve, or other failure that is part of the automation process; and you wish to keep it manually operating supplying steam to your plant until it is repaired; it is no longer an Unattended boiler – it is a Limited Attendance or Attended boiler.

You will need to undertake a local Risk Assessment and if you decide to keep the boiler operating it will need increased supervision and monitoring, and may have to be considered a fully Attended Boiler requiring a licenced HRW operator. Therefore if you do not have a licensed operator present on site monitoring the boiler, you must shut it down or you are in breach of the regulations and standards.

If you have an incident that is reportable to the authorities and you are investigated, and it is found that you are in breach, the penalties can be quite severe.