The WHS Act includes codes of practice for managing the risk associated with high-risk work, including jobs that involve working at heights. Falls in housing construction and other construction projects result in numerous accidents each year.
According to SafeWork Australia, 359 workers were killed from falls between January 2003 and December 2015. With the proper training, individuals can receive the skills and knowledge to reduce the risk of falls at workplaces.
Do I Need Working at Heights Training in Tasmania?
If you work from any height that involves a risk of falls, you should complete the nationally recognised RIIWHS204E Work Safely at Heights Course. The course is designed to assist employers and employees in understanding the characteristics, hazards, and legislative requirements associated with working at heights in Tasmania.
The training is intended for anyone that works at heights. It includes the best practices for reducing the risk of injury, including conducting a risk assessment and implementing the hierarchy of control measures. Workers learn how to mitigate the risks using various techniques, such as fall prevention equipment and personal protective equipment.
For What Height Do You Need a Working at Heights Ticket?
According to Work Health and Safety (WHS) guidelines, you need to obtain a ticket for any work at any height. In the past, you needed a ticket for work involving heights of two or more metres. Recent changes to the legislation make it a requirement for working from any dangerous platform or surface.
The guidelines follow the working at heights code of practice established by the Australian Safety and Compensation Council (ASCC). The council coordinates efforts to help reduce work-related injuries, including:
- Reducing workplace risks and hazards
- Improving the overall management of OHS laws
- Preventing and reducing occupational diseases
- Helping to eliminate hazards at the design stage
- Giving the government more influence over workplace health and safety
As part of these practices, the ASCC recommends that workers utilise a hierarchy of control measures to help reduce exposure to health risks. When it comes to working at heights, the recommended control measures include:
- Eliminating the hazards
- Substituting the risk
- Using engineering controls
- Implementing administrative controls
- Using personal protective equipment (PPE)
The first control measure is the most effective while the last option is the least effective. Eliminating the hazard eliminates exposure. For example, instead of working from heights, there may be another way to complete the task.
Substitution involves substituting the way that workers access the tall space. Instead of using a temporary ladder to reach a height, workers may install a permanent ladder.
Installing a ladder is also a type of engineering control. Other examples include installing guardrails or placing additional notices near the work area.
Administrative controls help reduce exposure by carefully planning the use of labour. For example, instead of allowing one worker to spend several hours working from a height, a supervisor may divide the task between multiple workers, limiting the amount of time spent in a dangerous situation.
PPE is a last resort. It offers protection in case the previous control measures fail.
When Should I Consider Retaking the Working at Heights Course?
You do not receive a certificate or licence after completing the course. You obtain a statement of attainment, which does not have an expiration date. After taking the course, you may not need to take it again.
While the statement of attainment does not expire, retaking the course ensures that you remain aware of the hazards and legislative requirements related to working at heights.
If you need to retake the working at heights course, you may enrol in the online refresher course. It is available nationally and provides a general review of the information covered during the initial training. However, it does not meet the state regulatory compliance for working at heights.
The refresher course is only intended for those that have completed the face-to-face training at a registered training organisation, such as AlertForce.
How Long Is the Working at Heights Course?
The AlertForce RIIWHS204E Work Safely at Heights course lasts one day. The online refresher course is self-paced. Most individuals complete the online program in a few hours.
If your job duties involve working at heights, ensure that you complete the necessary training. Your PCBU should make this a priority to maintain compliance with the WHS Act regulations. For those that have already completed the training, do not forget about the refresher courses every two years to review the characteristics, hazards, and legislative requirements for working at heights.
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