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According to Safe Work Australia, working at heights is a leading cause of death for onsite fatalities. Thirty-seven per cent of fall-related fatalities occurred in the construction industry. However, falls can occur in any work environment that involves heights.


To remain safe working from a height of more than two metres, you may need to complete an approved training program. Working at heights training covers the steps needed to manage risks associated with dangerous heights. You learn how to assess the environment and implement risk control measures. Here is a closer look at the details of the training.


Who Should Attend Working at Heights Training in Canberra?


Previously, working at heights certificates were not needed unless workers were placed two metres or higher off the ground or another platform. After changes to WHS regulations, the training is often required for tasks that include the risk of falling from any height.


According to safety regulations, PCBUs must provide every reasonable step to mitigate hazards, including falls. Some of the situations that most frequently require safety training include:


  • Performing tasks from ladders
  • Working on unstable or uneven surfaces
  • Performing tasks on roofs or tall structures
  • Working on elevated platforms


If you have completed older units of competency related to height safety practices, you may need to retake the course. RIIWHS204E replaces RIIWHS204A and meets Work Health and Safety (WHS) Regulations.


This training course is also a prerequisite for several other training programs. Depending on your industry, you may need to complete this course before completing other courses. Working at heights training is commonly required for workers in the following industries:


  • Gas supply
  • Resources and infrastructure
  • Agriculture and land management
  • Transport and logistics
  • Civil construction


You also need to obtain your white card before enrolling in the training course. In fact, construction induction training is also a frequent prerequisite for other courses. If you have not worked in your field for two years or longer, it is also a good idea to retake the construction induction training.


What Are the Learning Outcomes for the Working at Heights Course?


RIIWHS204E Work Safely at Heights is the unit of competency for heights training. The course provides instruction for working safely at heights. It is intended to meet legislative requirements and covers several specific topics, including:


  • Interpreting safety procedures
  • Understanding WHS requirements
  • Identifying, selecting, and checking safety equipment
  • Identifying and managing potential hazards
  • Selecting and wearing personal protective equipment
  • Accessing and installing equipment
  • Performing work at heights
  • Cleaning up the worksite after completing the task


Proper use of safety equipment is an important part of the training. You learn how to use personal protective equipment (PPE), such as harnesses. The training also covers the steps needed to check the equipment before use.


As part of the process for identifying and managing hazards, you learn how to implement hazard control measures. The steps include eliminating hazards, using engineering controls, applying administrative controls, and using PPE.


Control measures provide a series of steps for reducing risk, listed from most effective to least effective. Eliminating the need to work from heights is most effective while using PPE is least effective for reducing exposure to hazards.


How Long Is the Work Safely at Heights Course?


Face to face training lasts one day. However, the exact duration depends on the number of participants.


Online refresher courses are self-paced. You can complete the training at your own leisure within a few hours or over the course of several days.


What Is the Cost of the Working at Heights Canberra Course?


The cost of training courses may depend on where you take the course and the type of course. For example, online training tends to cost less. However, face to face training is needed to comply with industry standards.


At AlertForce, the face to face RIIWHS204E training costs around $300 per person but ther can be Training Fund Authority subsidies available that bring the price down to about $120 per person (ask about your eligibility). The online refresher / verification of competency program costs $177 plus GST.


When Should I Consider Retaking the Working at Heights Course?


Many employers require their employees to retake the course every two or three years. Industry standards organisations also recommend refresher training every two years.


After your complete height safety training, you receive a Statement of Attainment. However, the training does not technically expire. If you need to enrol in the work safely at heights training course, contact AlertForce to learn more.

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