Working at heights

Falls from heights are a major cause of fatalities and serious injuries at work around the world.
Most people who are seriously injured or killed, fall from a height of four metres or less.
Ladders, incomplete scaffolds, falling off a truck, a roof edge or falling through fragile roof sheeting are the major causes of injuries.
These incidents largely happen in the construction, manufacturing, transport, postal, warehousing and agriculture industries.
Falling from heights can lead to death
Working at Heights
A person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU) must eliminate the risk of falls in the workplace, or if that is not reasonably practicable, minimise those risks so far as is reasonably practicable.
  • Ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that any work involving the risk of a fall by a person from one level to another is carried out on the ground or on a solid construction
  • Provide safe means of access to and exit from the workplace and an area from which a person could fall, such as a platform or scaffolding, and
  • If it is not reasonably practicable to eliminate the risk of a fall, minimise the risk of falls so far as is reasonably practicable by providing adequate protection against the risk, including by providing a fall prevention device if it reasonably practicable to do so, or if not, a work positioning system if it is reasonably practicable to do so, or if not, a fall arrest system.

A combination of the controls that are reasonably practicable to provide adequate protection against the risk may be used if a single control is not sufficient for the purpose.

  • Have a duty to take reasonable care for their own health and safety and to not adversely affect the health and safety of other persons. Workers must comply with reasonable instructions, as far as they are reasonably able, and cooperate with reasonable health and safety policies or procedures that have been notified to workers.
  • If personal protective equipment (PPE) is provided by the business or undertaking, the worker must so far as they are reasonably able, use or wear it in accordance with the information and instruction and training provided.

Safety Tips

  • Use Railing
  • Select the proper PPE
  • Inspect your PPE 
  • Select a proper anchor point
  • Ensure proper use of lifts
  • Use ladders properly
  • Good housekeeping is the best way to prevent falling objects
  • Training 

Download this Toolbox talk to print and use as a topic for your next toolbox meeting

Safety tips working at heights