The Australian workforce experiences a fatal fall from height at least once per week. Half of those fatalities are from heights under 2 metres; some even from as little as 600mm. Safework Australia specifies that height risk assessment is essential for ANY HEIGHT. Height Safety Awareness training is compulsory for all workers who inspect their own harnesses and safety equipment prior to any work at height.


Safework Australia ( has Codes of Practice referencing working at height; included are Managing the Risk of Falls in the Workplace, Preventing Falls in Housing Construction and a Code of Practice for Confined Space. In the event that working at height hazards cannot be eliminated with controls other than personal protective equipment, then the selection of specific fall prevention equipment, provision of rescue and retrieval equipment, and training to specific competencies must become part of the overall risk management process.

Height Safety Training to a specified competency is now an integral part of any work at height undertaking – refer AS/NZS 1891.4:2009. Equipment inspections to manufacturer’s requirements must be conducted by competent persons. A record of training and equipment inspection is the primary responsibility of the person conducting a business or undertaking.

WHS Regulations detail the management of risk of a fall by a person from one level to another, including requirements to:

Ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that any work involving the risk of a fall is carried out on the ground or on a solid construction provide safe means of access to and exit from the workplace minimise the risk of falls so far as is reasonably practicable by providing a fall prevention device, work positioning system or a fall arrest system.

Do Not Work Alone – A worker making their own connections can make a mistake and must never make their own D-ring connection with the harness already on – a fellow worker should check all connections relating to a harness.

Connector Compatibility – Mixing height safety components from a variety of manufacturers is not recommended, as components that may appear to be compatible may in practice not be. When selecting systems the user should look to ensure that theooks are manufactured with double locking systems and offer a reasonable level of security. When selecting systems the user should look to ensure that the hook and “D” are compatible wherever possible. Proper connector compatibility ensures that pressure can’t be put on the gate of the connector by the ring you are connecting into i.e. anchor point or rear D.

Rescue – Rescue must always be integral with any fall protection programme.

Suspension Intolerance – This is thought to occur as a result of low blood pressure caused by blood pooling in the lower extremities as an after-effect of a full body harness fall.


AS/NZS 1891.4:2009  Industrial fall arrest systems and devices – Selection, use and maintenance.

AS/NZS 1891.1:2007/Amdt 2:2008  Industrial fall arrest systems and devices – Harnesses & ancillary equipment.

AS/NZS 1891.2:2001  Industrial fall arrest systems and devices – Horizontal lifeline and rail systems.

AS/NZS 1891.3:1997  Industrial fall arrest systems and devices – Fall arrest devices.

AS/NZS 2865-2009  Confined spaces.

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  • Consider the workspace below the height work i.e. the need for isolation, barriers and signs.
  • Consider interaction with other trades and activities.
  • Equipment should be inspected by the user before and after each use.
  • Maintain equipment in accordance with the manufacturers’ guidelines and AS/NZS 1891.4.
  • Ensure the correct size harness is worn.
  • All workers should be trained in the correct use and maintenance of personal protective equipment.

SafetyQuip offers a full scope safety supply service for height safety equipment including safety harness, falls prevention, safety harnesses, roof anchors, fall protection kits, SRL, lanyards, fall arrest and confined space rescue equipment.