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Western Australia: High Risk Work - Pressure Equipment Operation, Turbine Operation, Reciprocating Steam Engine

WorkSafe has one main office and five regional offices.

Main offices

5th Floor, Westcentre
1260 Hay Street
West Perth 6005

Enquiries about High Risk Work/Certificates of Competency for users and operators of industrial equipment.

Phone: 1300 424 091
Fax: 9321 7989

Western Australia Recognizes the National Standard for Licensing Persons Performing High Risk Work that replaced National Certificates of Competency June 2012:

General Licensing Requirements

A person performing high risk work covered by this National Standard must hold a relevant licence unless the person is: undergoing training in accordance with this National Standard, or exempted from holding a licence.

Eligibility for a licence

  1. A person is eligible to obtain a licence when the person has:
    demonstrated competency in the safe performance of high risk work under workplace conditions, and obtained the training, assessment, experience and qualifications required by the licensing authority.

  2. A person who is at least 18 years of age is eligible to obtain a licence. Training may commence at an earlier age.

  3. A person who is already a licence holder is not eligible to obtain a second licence issued by any other licensing authority for the same class of work unless the licence is being renewed or replaced.

  4. A person whose licence has been suspended or cancelled in one State or Territory is not eligible to obtain a licence in any other State or Territory for the class or classes of work subject to the suspension or cancellation.

Licensing Classes of Pressure Equipment Operation

Basic Boiler Operation (License Class BB)

Covers the operation of boilers with the following features:

Single fixed combustion air-supply
Non-modulating single heat source
Fixed firing rate

Intermediate Boiler Operation (License Class BI)

Covers the operation of boilers with the following features:

Modulating combustion air supply
Modulating heat source
Superheaters, and

Advanced Boiler Operation (License Class BO)

Covers the operation of boilers with the following features:

Same features as intermediate boiler operation, together with
Multiple fuel type boilers which may be fired simultaneously.
NOTE: This does not include boilers that change fuel types during start sequences.

Gas fuel
Liquid fuel - including oil and diesel fuel
Solid fuel - including coal (including pulverised coal), briquettes, coke, wood (including wood chips) or any other type of solid fuel.

Turbine Operation (License Class TO)

covers the operation of any turbine (except a turbine that produces a power output of less than 500kW) that:

is multi-wheeled
is capable of a speed greater than 3600rpm, or
which uses attached condensers or a multi-staged heat exchange extraction process.

Reciprocating Steam Engine Operation (License Class ES)

Covers the operation of steam equipment where the steam acts upon a piston under pressure where this action of the steam forces the piston to move, including expanding
(steam) reciprocating engines, with any piston diameter of greater than 250 millimetres.

### Furthermore ###

Boiler means a vessel or an arrangement of vessels and interconnecting parts, wherein steam or other liquid is heated at a pressure above that of the atmosphere by the application of fire, the products of combustion, electrical power, or similar means. It also includes valves, gauges, fittings, controls, the boiler setting and directly associated equipment.

For the purpose of licensing, a boiler ends at the first connection point after the first valve or valve assembly, and it does not include:

  1. Unattended boilers certified in compliance with AS 2593
  2. Any vessel where the design of the vessel is such that will allow the vessel to operate deprived of all liquid orvapour that is intended to be heated, without affecting the structure or operation of the vessel but not greaterthan 500 kW output
  3. A direct fired process heater
  4. Boilers designed or manufactured to the AMBSC codes (Australian Miniature Boiler Safety Committee Codes), or
  5. Boilers less than five square metres heating surface (or 150 kW output).

Direct-fired process heater means an arrangement of tubes comprising one or more coils located in the radiant zone or convection zone (or both) of a combustion chamber, whose prime purpose is to raise the temperature of a process fluid which is circulated through the coils, to allow distillation/fractionation/reaction (or other petrochemical process) of that process liquid. The process fluid may be entirely liquid, entirely gas or a liquid/gas combination.

Turbine means industrial equipment where steam acts on a turbine or rotor to cause a rotary motion, excluding steam turbines and expansion turbines with a power output of less than 500kW.

Industrial Training School

Stationary High-Pressure Steam Engineer is an operating engineer that is licensed though competency by examinations for grades third through chief.  In the USA alone there are 100s of thousands of high pressure boilers alone in manufacturing or district heating, institutions, medical centers, public sector and with the vast majority in the private sector.

Chief Engineer of a stationary high-pressure steam plant has a leadership position and needs to command the steam plant operation economically and safety.

A 3rd Class Engineer in a stationary high-pressure steam engineer is a watch engineer.  This is also an entry level into Stationary High-Pressure Steam Engineering licensing too.  To be a candidate for a  3rd class is possible by going through an accredited learning program at a School or College or transition from LP Boiler Operator's license.  A more traditional path to 3rd Class stationary high-pressure engineers license is by experience.


Gas Turbine Operating Engineers are in demand for gas fired peaking power plants.  Gas turbines or combustion turbines as they are also called as well as simple cycle.

These gas turbines can be brought on-line producing 100s of MW in minutes when a wind-farm looses its wind or a cloud shades a photovoltic region.  So, this is especially important with more and more usage of photovoltic and wind power generators that cannot power a manufacturing base of a country or a large population since they are dependent on weather and more importantly solar activities.  Therefore, being a gas turbine 3rd Class, 2nd Class or 1st Class Gas Turbine Engineer is important to off-set the loss of base load fossil fuel power stations to meet the demand of the electric power grids.

Gas turbines come is three difference or basic catagories:  Large frame combustion turbines, large aero-derivative gas turbines, and micro-turbines.  Areo-derivative gas turbines are uses as a rule for peaking power stations.


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