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Falls from heights are the leading cause of worker fatalities in Australia. To reduce the number of fatalities, the WHS Act includes strict guidelines and requirements for working at heights, starting with the completion of working at heights training courses.
The training program covers the skills and knowledge needed to mitigate risks and hazards when working from heights over a specified height. In the past, you needed to complete this training when work involves heights above two metres. However, the training is now required for any work involving heights.
If you work in the construction industry or any other area that involves the potential for fatal falls, you should learn more about the required training. Here are answers to the most commonly asked questions about the course.
Who Should Attend Working at Heights Training Adelaide?
Anyone that has job duties involving heights should complete this training. It is a requirement for any work that involves heights that could result in death or injury. While it is primarily required in the construction industry, those in the warehousing, transport, and logistics industries may also need to complete the program.
Worker fatalities involving falls from a height have remained steady over the past decade. In 2003, 27 workers died from falls. In 2016, 25 workers died from falls. It is an ongoing trend and completing this training may help reduce the numbers.
The code of practice for working at heights addresses the biggest concerns related to working at heights. The priorities of this code of practice include:
- Reducing the risks of working at heights
- Improving the management of worker health and safety
- Preventing work-related accidents and diseases
- Eliminating workplace hazards through better design
- Increasing the influence of the government on worker health and safety
To comply with this code of practice, PCBUs should ensure that their workers complete the required training program. As mentioned, you may need to complete this course when working from any height, even if it does not exceed two metres.
What Are the Working at Heights Course Learning Outcomes?
RIIWHS204D is the unit of competency required to work safely from heights. The learning outcomes cover the hierarchy of control measures for reducing the risk of accident or injury while working at heights. The basic hierarchy provides the skills and knowledge to encourage safe working conditions:
- Eliminating the risk
- Substituting the risk
- Engineering controls
- Administrative controls
- The use of personal protective equipment
Eliminating risk is the most effective solution. If possible, find ways to completely avoid working at heights. If this is not an option, substitution may help keep workers safe.
Substitution involves using an existing workplace or substitute workplace. For example, instead of using scaffolding, workers may be able to work from an area that already has safety measures in place, such as a balcony or on machinery with fixed guard rails.
Engineering controls mostly help prevent access to the hazard. This may include the use of safety signs or barriers to prevent unwanted access to the site. Administrative controls include temporary barriers or reducing the duration of time spent working from heights.
The use of personal protective equipment is the last resort for preventing falls from heights. Examples of PPE include safety harnesses, suspension systems, and secondary systems, such as ropes. Using safety harnesses and other fall protection gear may help prevent workers from falling, but it is the least effective control measure.
How Long Is the Working at Heights Course Adelaide?
The duration of the training course is typically one full day. It may last between 8 am and 4 pm, depending on the training centre where you enrol. The training is offered face to face.
After completing the course, you receive a statement of attainment. An online refresher course is also available. It is a self-paced program that typically takes several hours to complete.
What Is the Cost of the Working at Heights Course?
The average cost of working at heights course is about $300 in South Australia. At AlertForce, you can complete the RIIWHS204D work safely at heights unit for just $227 per person (currently via auspice with Fresh Air RTO 40599).
In addition to the initial training, you can enrol in the online refresher course. The refresher course is only available for those that have already completed the initial training. It costs just $66 and is an online self-paced course.
When Should I Consider Retaking the Working at Heights Course?
You should typically retake safety training every two years. Technically, the working at heights ticket does not have an expiration date. However, most PCBUs and safety groups recommend a two-year limit.
Instead of taking the full-day course a second time, you may complete the online refresher course. Due to continuous changes to WHS legislation and regulations, the learning outcomes may receive occasional updates. Taking the refresher course helps ensure that you remember the recommended control measures and learn the latest updates.
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