Working At Heights – a lofty ambition for safety

Under AS/NZ1891 there is a requirement as a part of site safety and working at heights compliance,  in all states & territories to don a suitable harness and relevant height safety equipment pursuant to the task at hand. And depending upon what ground conditions exist beneath you (water, rocks, building materials and more) the type of harness and tethering points will also be subject to minimum requirements.

So how do you know what to look for? What safety equipment do you need at your site, for your specific task and in your specific conditions that will ensure not only the safety of your people but also compliance with the standard?

At a minimum, look at the age and condition of whatever height safety equipment you have on hand. When was the last time it was inspected (by an authorised inspector) for safety and compliance? How old is it? Is there any damage or areas of potential weakness? Soft products shall be inspected, tagged and registered every 6 months by a competent person whilst anchor points need to be proof loaded annually. All soft goods shall have a lifespan of 10 years since the date of manufacture not from the date the product entered service.

Did you know that if you write on the harness (we all want our name on our own harness, right?) in a texta marker or similar, then you may have rendered your working at height safety harness NON compliant.

Did you also know that there are state Government and territory codes of practice that over rides the Australian Standard (AS 1981). It’s the law!

In many cases there is no replacement for buying a new harness. Do not risk the safety of your workers when they are working at heights. Height safety is not a requirement to make your life harder. It is to ensure that we all get home safely after a day (or night) at work. It’s what we need for our workers. It’s good practice. It’s the right thing to do.

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