SP07 Working At Heights


The control measures to protect a person from the risk of falling from a height should be in place before any work at height starts. Several control measures are available to protect workers from the risk of falling from a height when carrying out work at that height. In some circumstances, more than one control measure may be necessary. The three levels of control measure, in order of preference, are:

  1. erecting a physical barrier,
  2. providing personal fall protection, and
  3. measures provided to ‘catch’ a person once they have fallen.


Working at Heights

Includes any work where a worker could fall 3 metres or more, or where a worker can fall less than this height into an area of inherent risk or work on a rooftop where the pitch of the roof is greater than 26°.


Silverback and subcontracted personnel are to comply with the relevant provisions of the following procedural requirements and references. The typical hazards addressed by this procedure include:

Hazards Risk (Potential)
  • Falls from heights
  • Falling objects
  • Unprotected edges
  • Incorrect use of personal fall protection
  1. No work at heights is to be carried out on site unless one of the following control measures (in order of their preferred use) is adopted:
    1. the erection of physical barriers (such as guardrails and scaffolding),
    2. providing a personal fall protection system (fall-arrest harness system or travel restraint system), or
    3. providing a catch system (catch net below a fall perimeter).

Physical Barriers/Edge Protection

The exact characteristics of guardrail requirements depends on the inclination of the work surface. However, the following are general provisions that represent minimum compliance.

  1. Temporary guardrails erected on roofs must comply with the following requirements:
    1. run parallel to the working surface,
    2. be installed no further than 100mm outside the working surface edge,
    3. extend between 900mm and 1100mm above the working surface.
  2. Mid-rails are to be erected in every location where a guardrail is used.
  3. Mid-rails are to comply with the following requirements:
    1. run parallel to the working surface,
    2. be not further than 100mm outside the working surface edge,
    3. must be located so there is no more than 450mm between any rail or toe board
  4. Toe boards or a bottom rail (150mm – 250mm above the platform) are to be used in conjunction with guardrails and mid-rails.
  5. Toe boards are to be fully sheeted or made from mesh and are to extend a minimum of 150mm above the working surface.

Fall Arrest or Fall Protection Systems

  1. Personal fall protection systems and catch systems used on site are to be in accordance with AS1891, and must be employed wherever work at heights is conducted on an unprotected edge.
  2. Wrist straps or rope are to be used to secure tools to persons or work platforms in an attempt to prevent objects falling.


QLD Workplace Health & Safety Act 1995, Sections 28-31

QLD Workplace Health & Safety Regulation 1997, Part 18

AS 1891. Industrial Fall-Arrest Systems and Devices.


(Item 1-8 & to monitor compliance with this procedure) – Construction Supervisor

(Items 1-8) – Subcontractors and Silverback personnel specifically involved in work at height activities on site


• No specific records to be maintained by Silverback

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