LEADERS IN FALL PREVENTION, HEIGHT SAFETY AND SAFE ACCESS SOLUTIONS

Our hEIGHT sAFETY Services

Welcome to Safe@Heights

We specialise in height safety compliance auditing, design and installation of access and fall prevention systems. We utilise our extensive knowledge of current Height Safety Legislation, Codes of Practice and Australian Standards to ensure that your workplace is safe, compliant and most importantly incident free. We pride ourselves on outstanding personal service, in depth knowledge of Legislation, industry leading design solutions and high attention to detail.

Why not contact us today to learn more about how we can help you.

roof-anchor-points-installation-safe-at-heights

Brisbane Height Safety Specialists 

Today, roof safety has become one of the most talked about hazards. According to Work Safe Australia, in 2017 15% of workplace fatalities were caused by falling from heights. What makes this statistic more frightening is that almost all of these were completely preventable. In general height safety has not been given the attention it requires partly due to the “out of site out of mind” mentality combined with the “but we have always done it this way” attitude. For years we have struggled to have some industries take roof safety seriously. But in today’s workplace, height safety is finally being taken seriously and given the attention it deserves. One of the main questions we are asked is what do I need to do to make my roof compliant? This is the wrong question. The right question is what do I need to do to eliminate the risk of a fall completely? This is the question that should be asked. Why? Because the Work Health and Safety Act does not require the PCBU (Person Conducting a Business or Undertaking) to provide a compliant workplace. It charges the PCBU with a legal duty to provide a workplace that is free from hazards. That where a hazard is identified that it is controlled using the hierarchy of control. Number one on that list is elimination. What many people just do not understand is that you could have a technically compliant anchor point system, have an incident where a worker is injured or killed and still be found guilty of having an unsafe workplace. Why you may ask? How can you be prosecuted if you had a compliant anchor point system? Well, it may be deemed that controlling the risk of a fall from one level to another by installing anchor points was not appropriate for the level of risk and or the work being undertaken. An anchor point system is the lowest form of control. The WHS Act requires that you install the highest level of control that is reasonably practicable. 

Roof Safety 

That brings most people to ask the question, what is reasonably practical? The WHS Act helps answer this question by providing official Codes of Practice in accordance with section 274 of the Act. One of these codes is the Managing the Risk of Falls at Workplaces Code of Practice. In general, by following this Code for your industry you would be seen to have complied with your duties to provide what is required for roof safety. The Code of Practice is freely available from a number of websites however we recommend that you obtain your copy from Work Safe Australia. 

But when it comes to roof safety, the easiest guide is to start with the question, how can I eliminate the risk of a fall. If you start with this question and work back from here you will always be complying with your legal obligations under the Work Health and Safety Act. 

Height Safety Design

For many years the standard roof safety design consisted of anchor points. As time moved on static lines were also used. Both of these fall arrest systems are considered the lowest level of control and should only be used as a last resort. There are other systems and methods available that will greatly increase the level of roof safety. As soon as you start to discuss this many building owners start to get worried about cost. Stating that they want anchor points because they can’t afford to install roof guard rail around their entire building. But these are just two options. So first we start with why are you needing workers on your roof? Often the answer can be as simple as to service air conditioning plant. Then we look at where that plant is located on the roof. We may find it is in the center of a large mostly flat roof with access from a roof access hatch. When looking at this we find that the entry point to the roof and the plant is all over 6 metres away from any edges. So in this case, what options are there? First option would be to provide guard railing around that area only. So instead of putting guard railing around the entire roof edge, you just install it around the area you need to access. This can be quite cost effective and provide an excellent control against a fall. Another option might be to provide a designated roof walkway from the entry point to the plant area and only install roof guard rail along the side closest to the roof edge. The induction for height safety works would then include a section stating that at no times or under any circumstances can workers step off the designated roof walkway. Both these options show that there are ways to control a fall risk and provide a height safety solution that is safe, compliant and cost effective.

Do I need to provide training for workers who access my roof?

This is a great question and one that we get asked all the time. It is also a question that many people like to argue about. The simple answer is yes. Under the WHS Act section 19(3)f, it states that a PCBU must provide relevant information and training about plant at their workplace. This definitely includes roof safety systems. Whenever you have workers, whether they are your employees, direct contractors or subcontractors, using your height safety systems on your roof, you must provide them with information about how the systems were designed to be used. At the end of the day, if there was an incident at your workplace and a worker was injured or killed, during the investigation the question would be asked what information and training did you provide to the worker to ensure they understood how to use your systems safely? If you can’t provide evidence of this you are more than likely in danger of being prosecuted. To help with this we have put together a video induction package that can be tailored to suit your site which will provide industry leading non accredited training on how to work safely at heights. We are able to show you the different videos we have and discuss with you if they will suit your requirements. Often we find with some minor customisation we can design a video height safety induction package that suits your particular requirements perfectly. This can be delivered via email directly to workers or onsite using our new App. For more information on this or any of our services please contact us.  

Safe At Heights

18 Rowland Street,
Slacks Creek
Queensland, 4127