23 Jun Height safety and workplace requirements
Ensure your workplace is height safety OHS compliant.
Employers have an obligation to ensure that they provide safe working conditions for employees. This is especially important when employees must undertake work at heights or in other hazardous conditions.
Whether you are an employer, or you work at heights yourself, you must ensure that your workplace is safe and compliant with height safety workplace requirements. If you or your employees have concerns about the safety of your workplace, you must address the issues immediately and rectify any compliance issues.
Do you have concerns about workplace safety?If you have concerns about the safety of your workplace, whether they are height safety or other concerns, you need to stop work immediately and report them to your supervisor, OHS rep, or employer.
Your employer then needs to have an expert inspect and audit your workplace for safety and compliance issues. The expert will then provide your employer with a proposal to install compliant safety equipment if anything does not meet height safety workplace requirements.
In the unlikely event that your employer doesn’t take your concerns seriously, or refuses to have your workplace audited, you can escalate the matter by reporting it to WorkSafe Victoria, a union rep, or a height safety OHS rep. It is not legal for an employer to force you to continue working in unsafe conditions.
“If there are concerns about the safety of your workplace, you need to stop work immediately.”
Workplace requirements for height safetyGenerally speaking, height safety and fall prevention equipment is required when you are undertaking work at a height of 2m or higher or if you are working within 2m of a fall edge.
The type of height safety systems required for OHS compliance will depend on the circumstance of the premises and the type of work being undertaken. A competent person, such as a height safety expert, must determine and install the required height safety systems.
If you are undertaking work at heights or any High-Risk Construction Work (HRCW), you must complete a Safe Work Method Statement (SWMS) before work commences.
You must ensure that the risk control measures are sufficient for the potential risks and hazards that you will encounter while completing work tasks.
If the risk control measures are not sufficient, or you believe the height safety systems are not compliant for the required tasks, then you must not commence work.
Employer obligations for height safety OHS
Employers with personnel undertaking work at heights or in hazardous conditions have an obligation to provide a safe working environment for their employees.
If your employees have concerns about the safety of their working conditions, you must stop work immediately and have an expert determine whether the workplace meets the relevant safety requirements. You may not force or encourage your employees to work in an unsafe manner or environment.
As an employer, you have a duty of care for the safety of your employees and all personnel on your premises under the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004. There are severe penalties for non-compliance with height safety OHS requirements.
“Employers have an obligation to provide a safe working environment for their employees.”
Height safety compliance experts
If you or your employees have concerns about non-compliance with height safety workplace requirements, you must have your premises inspected by an expert as soon as possible. They will determine what systems are required to meet compliance standards.
Australian Height Safety Services are industry leaders in fall prevention and workplace safety. We can inspect and certify existing height safety systems as well as propose and install new systems that will ensure compliance and minimise the risk of worker injury.
For more information on height safety compliance, call our team on 1300 854 217.