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Working from Heights


The risk of falls from heights is an ongoing issue being identified on construction sites in the ACT.  Common issues which do have the potential to shut your site down relate to failing to have safe working practices (such as a complete scaffold erected on site, inadequate fall protection) or the required documentation, such as a safe work method statement (SWMS) where there is a risk of a person falling more than 2 metres.

It is important that a PCBU is doing what is reasonably practicable to manage the risks associated with working from heights. This means before work is commenced to identify hazards, assess the risks and determine the most appropriate controls which should be applied to provide a safe working environment.

Construction work carried out where there is a risk of a person falling more than 2 metres is deemed high risk construction work and therefore requires a safe work method statement. A safe work method statement is based on a site specific risk assessment and includes the measures for eliminating workplace risks or minimising these risks as far as is reasonably practicable. A safe work method statement must be developed in consultation with workers who are carrying out the high risk construction work (and their representatives) before the commencement of any ‘high risk construction work’.

Click here to view the information on the WorkSafe ACT website.

A PRACTICAL EXAMPLE – SafeWork NSW member alert: