Whenever an individual is working at heights, there is always the potential for a fall regardless of distance from the ground. As such, it is necessary that all employers are considerate of working at heights regulations and that employees conduct themselves in a responsible manner that abides by the regulations in place. Anyone involved in working at heights should be well-versed in the relevant safety practices and be able to answer the question of “what is the nationally recognised definition of working at heights?”
So, what is the nationally recognised definition of working at heights? According to the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011 (Cth), safety measures and fall protection equipment are required when there is a risk of a fall of at least two metres.
There are many different types of fall protection systems, and the one that is most suitable for your work environment will depend on the kind of work being conducted and the surrounding fall hazards. To determine what measures are required, a height safety engineer must perform a detailed inspection of your site to ensure that working at height regulations are being followed. First, it is essential to be aware of what is the nationally recognised definition of working at heights.
To determine what systems need to be installed, inspectors follow the ‘hierarchy of control’ procedure. It should be noted that it is recommended to use the highest order of control when addressing hazards.
The levels are as follows:
The hierarchy of control is commonly used to minimise and eliminate exposure to hazards in the workplace. When considering “what is the nationally recognised definition of working at heights?” for safety planning, it is important to employ the hierarchy of control system to abide by safe working at height regulations confidently.
It is crucial to have your safety equipment regularly inspected and maintained every six to twelve months as per the Australian standards to ensure the safety of both yourself and colleagues on the worksite.
An inspection will assess:
So, now that we’ve discussed what is the nationally recognised definition of working at heights, let’s delve into other important regulations. In Australia, height safety equipment and working at heights practices are governed by the Working at Height Association (WAHA), who enforce the following Australian Standards & Industry Codes:
To minimise the risk of falls, employees can undertake the RIIWHS204D training course, which outlines the skills needed to reduce the hazards arising from working at heights. Developed in partnership with Safe Work Australia, it assists in enhancing your knowledge regarding how to:
To know what equipment is needed for your workplace, you must first be aware of what is the nationally recognised definition of working at heights. The type of job undertaken and the environmental conditions on the day will define what kind of fall protection equipment is needed.
As a general rule of thumb, most worksites should supply available fall protection products such as catch platforms and safety nets. With respect to personal fall protection, employers should provide PPE equipment including and not limited to safety harnesses, shock-absorbing lanyards, pole straps, connectors and carabiners.
Harnesses, in particular, are an essential component in the prevention of and protection from falls. Due to their importance and frequency of use, all harnesses should be comfortable, durable and adjustable, as well as regularly inspected. At Newcastle Safety Servicing, we deliver leading working at heights harness inspection.
At Newcastle Safety Servicing, we provide an extensive range of fall protection equipment online. We stock products that have been selected and recommended by industry professionals. All of our products have been regularly tested to ensure peace of mind in individuals working at height. As well as providing leading fall protection equipment, Newcastle Safety Servicing delivers expert working at heights equipment inspection, SLR fall protection inspection, fall protection gear inspection and harness inspection and servicing.
If you have any questions about working at heights, equipment or you need a routine fall protection equipment inspection, don’t hesitate to get in contact with us by calling (02) 4960 1372.