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Working at Heights

 

Working at Heights means work in any place where, if precautions were not taken, a person could fall, resulting in injury or death. Many employers classify work at height as being where the work is performed at a height greater than 1.8 m.

Occupational health and safety legislation requires specific measures to control the risks associated with working at heights. In particular, your workplace should have a system in place to prevent workers (including contractors) from falling.

If you are an employee and you need to work at heights you must check that:

  • you have received workplace induction training before you start work
  • you have been trained (by an approved training provider eg. RTO) in the activity you’re going to perform
  • safe access and walkways are provided to all parts of your workplace
  • the area you are working on is stable
  • physical barriers are in place over exposed edges
  • you have been trained in the safe use of safety lines (if relevant), and
  • you have the appropriate personal protective equipment

If you are an employer you need you need to provide or consider the use of the following where required (in accordance with relevant Australian Standards and Legislation):

  • stable and securely fenced work platform or, if this is not reasonably practicable
  • secure perimeter screens, fencing, handrails or other physical barriers capable of preventing falls or, if this is not reasonably practicable
  • other forms of physical restraint that are capable of arresting a fall from a height of more than two metres or, if this is not reasonably practicable
  • provision of a safe means of movement between different levels at the place of work

Where working at height is required it is both the employer and the employee who have responsibility for risk management.

National legislation for working at heights will soon be harmonised under the proposed National Work Health and Safety Regulations which are presently in their draft form.

Prensa have an experienced team of occupational health and safety consultants that can offer you guidance and a professional level of service to assist with managing your working at heights risks.