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Free Working at Heights Procedure Template

Download our free Working at Heights Procedure Template:

*For internal use only. Not for resale or redistribution. By downloading, you agree to our Free Resources Licensing Agreement.

Working at Heights ProcedurePurpose of Document

A Working at Heights Procedure establishes guidelines for working at heights in the workplace. The key objective is to ensure workers are protected from injury caused by working at heights or falls. This procedure is broadly aligned with the requirements of AS/NZS 45001:2018.

How to Use

This Working at Heights Procedure should be saved on your server and continually reviewed / updated. It should also be communicated to new workers as part of their induction or onboarding process. 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

As stated above, this document should be made available to your staff and managers via your server, onedrive or intranet. You should also use it during employee inductions or you may wish to refresh your workers on the contents of the procedure periodically as part of a safety meeting or similar forum.

Who Should Use

This procedure should be reviewed and updated by your Safety Advisor, Project Manager or other Manager. Supervisors or managers can use the procedure to communicate the requirements to workers (including new workers).

Legal Considerations

There is no specific legal requirement to have a documented Working at Heights Procedure. However, it is best practice, especially for larger companies. It can help meet general legal duties, including:

  • s(19)(3)c WHS Act – Duty to Provide and Maintain Safe Work Environment
  • s(19)(3)c WHS Act – Duty to Provide and Maintain Safe Systems of Work
  • s(78) WHS Regulations – Management of Risk of Falls

FAQ

What is 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.

What height is considered “working at heights”?

As stated above, working at heights is usually considered work where you can fall from ANY height (i.e. from one level to another). However, as the height increases, the expectation for risk management increases. For example, for work over 2m workers should normally be trained with fall protection devices provided.

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

  1. Working at heights (Safe Work Australia) <https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/safety-topic/hazards/working-heights>
  2. 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>
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