Free Working at Heights Permit Template
Download our free Working at Heights Permit Template:
*For internal use only. Not for resale or redistribution. By downloading, you agree to our Free Resources Licensing Agreement.
Purpose of Document
Working at Heights Permits are used to manage the risks associated with working at heights. The primary objective is to ensure the safety of workers by providing a permit system to ensure safety protocols are followed. This form is broadly aligned with AS/NZS 45001:2018.
How to Use
This form should be completed by the permit holder (work party supervisor) and signed off by the site supervisor, permit authority or other competent person. This is a template only and should be customised for your business ensuring that:
- Workplace specific risks are identified and managed, and
- Workers are consulted with during the customisation / review process
When to Use
A Working at Heights Permit is completed prior to any activities that pose a risk of falling or dropped objects.
Who Should Use
This form can be completed by the permit holder, with sign off being completed by the permit authority, Safety Advisor, Project Manager or other competent person in your organization.
Working at Heights Permits are not mentioned in the WHS Regulations. The Managing the risks of fall in workplaces code of practice states that:
Administrative controls MAY be used to support other control measures and may include ‘no go’ areas, permit systems and the sequencing of work.
The code prefers the use of safety controls from higher on the heiarchy of controls, such as elimination or engineering.
There is no specific legal requirement within the WHS Regulations to complete a Working at Heights Permit. However, they are best practice, especially for large companies. This permit can help meet general legal duties including:
- s(19)(3)c WHS Act – Duty to Provide Safe Systems of Work
- s(78) WHS Regulations – Duty to Manage Risks of Falls (one level to another)
- s(291) and following sections WHS Regulations – High Risk Construction Work
What is considered working at heights?
Working at heights can mean working at any height (falls from one level to another), or falls from a certain height – usually 2 metres.
There are 2 main sections that cover “working at heights” in the legislation. The sections are:
- s(78) – This section covers falls from one level to another.
- s(291) – This section covers “high-risk construction work”, including risk of fall over 2 metres.
We have a detailed article on Working at Heights Regulations: Legal Obligations for PCBUs.
When is a working at heights permit required?
There is no specific legal requirement within the WHS Regulations to complete a Working at Heights Permit. However, they are best practice, especially for large companies. The code of practice states that permits MAY be used.
What about working at heights in residential construction?
Many states, including QLD and NSW, have special regulations to cover working at heights in residential construction. These regulations increase the height where fall protection is required, assuming risks to the safety of workers are managed in other ways (e.g. removing dangerous debris from the potential “fall zone”).
Article Sources and Further Reading
- Working at heights (Safe Work Australia) <https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/safety-topic/hazards/working-heights>
- Model Code of Practice Managing risks of falls at workplaces (Safe Work Australia) <https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/system/files/documents/1705/mcop-managing-the-risk-of-falls-at-workplaces-v2.pdf>