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Safety is Critical

February 05, 2020

Recently, the industry experienced a tragedy with a fatality on a construction site.

Safety on-site is critical, particularly when working from heights and HIA would like to remind members to be careful, discuss safety with your workers and look out for one another.

When working at heights or when there is a risk of falling from one level to another that could cause injury from a fall you must ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that work involving the risk of a fall is carried out either from the ground or on solid construction. If it is not reasonably practicable to eliminate the risk of falling altogether, you need to minimise the risk by providing adequate fall protection.

Adequate protection, when working at heights, includes maintaining a safe system of work by considering some of the following:

  • providing a fall prevention device if it is reasonably practicable to do so, for example:
    - a secure fence; and
    - edge protection; and
    - working platforms; and
    - covers; or
  • if it is not reasonable to provide a fall prevention device, providing a work positioning system (i.e. a plant or structure, other than a temporary work platform, that enables a person to be positioned and safety supported for the duration of the relevant work); or
  • if it is not reasonably practicable to comply with either of the above requirements, providing a fall arrest system, so far as is reasonably practicable this will include plant or material designed to arrest a fall such as a safety net, catch platform, safety harness system.

If you use a fall arrest system you need to also establish emergency procedures, ensure the procedures are tested and provide relevant workers with suitable and adequate information and instruction about using those procedures.

A combination of the above safety protection may also be appropriate.

WorkSafe ACT also has resources about Working at Heights that may be of assistance in your business.

Please remember that safety is a shared responsibility. Look out for yourself and for your colleagues and make the effort to work safely at all times.

If you have any questions please contact a HIA Workplace Advisor or HIA Safety on 1300 650 620.