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When is fall protection necessary?

Fall prevention and fall arrest protection are serious work health and safety control measures. Fall prevention measures include codes of practice and appropriate risk assessments while working at heights in the construction industry. Fall protection equipment and fall prevention devices such as safety harnesses and other construction work safety systems are all available at your nearest Coates Hire Branch so you can have the right safety equipment in your work area.

Fall protection equipment that meets Australian standards is essential for work in housing construction and other construction work. From personal protective equipment (PPE) and the use of ladders and safety systems, to roofing and elevated construction sites where administrative controls and codes of practice are strongly encouraged, Coates Hire equipment is the height safety equipment that meets all work health and safety regulations.

Fall protection is a high priority in the construction industry, from QLD, NSW, VIC and the rest of Australia. The fall arrest system and fall prevention measures you use must meet with codes of practice to minimise the risk of falls and possibility of serious injury. Whether you are using everyday equipment such as stepladders and guardrails, or are performing tasks on high work platforms and access equipment, safe use and personal protective equipment will improve working at height safety.

Determining the Risk

Anyone on your team working more than 2 metres off the ground on roofs, scaffolding, elevating work platforms or other access equipment needs to be adequately protected from the risk of falls. A fall arrest harness will provide the confidence required for safe elevated work procedures. Your worksite should always comply with WHS regulations. If you are uncertain regarding fall hazards of other height safety issues on your site, it is worth consulting with a height safety specialist at Coates Hire.

Managing the Risk

If fall hazards are identified on a site, there are various ways they can be managed to eliminate or lower the risk. In descending order of preference, these are:

  1. Eliminate the risk – if work can be conducted at a lower height, or in a safer location, no special action needs to be taken.
  2. Fall prevention systems – guard rails, barriers, safety mesh and other passive systems are enough in many cases for lowering the risk.
  3. Work positioning systems – rope-based systems such as static lines and roof anchors that can lower the risk of personnel falling. Workers must be specially trained in their use.
  4. Fall injury prevention systems – worn by personnel when working at height or using elevating work platforms, these systems cannot prevent falls, but are designed to reduce the severity of injuries.

What Training is Needed?

Employees working at height or inspecting fall protection systems need to complete a nationally recognised training course with a registered training organisation (RTO). Depending on their role and responsibilities, this may include:

  1. EWP training – Yellow Card training covers scissor lifts, vertical lifts and other elevated work platforms of heights below 11 metres. For cherry picker hire and other access equipment higher than 11 metres, specialised training and a WorkCover High Risk Work Licence are required.
  2. Working Safely at Heights training – this one-day course covers the competency required to work safely at heights and depths, including safe work practices, risk management and use of PPE.
  3. Height Safety Equipment Inspection training – covers the knowledge and skills needed to carry out inspections of harnesses, lanyards and other protective equipment.

Coates Hire offers a number of training and assessment programs delivered through our registered training organisation in all parts of Australia. Find a training course near you.

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