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Falls prevention


Duty to manage risks of falls at any height

The Work Health and Safety Regulations 2012 (SA) apply to a fall by a person from one level to another rather than specifically to a fall from heights.

The PCBU must provide a safe means of access and egress to and from the workplace and any area that involves the risk of a fall.

The PCBU must also ensure that any work that involves the risk of a fall is carried out on the ground or on a solid construction so far as is reasonably practicable.

If it is not reasonably practicable to eliminate the risk of a fall at a construction site, then the PCBU must minimise the risk of a fall by providing adequate protection against the risk.

Adequate protection means providing and maintaining a safe system of work (administrative controls), and:

  • providing a fall prevention device, which could include a secure fence, edge protection, working platforms and covers;
  • if it is not reasonably practicable to provide a fall prevention device, providing a work positioning system; and
  • if it is not reasonably practicable to comply with either of the above, then providing a fall arrest system.

If a fall arrest system is used as a control risk then emergency and rescue procedures must be established in relation to the use of the system.

A safe system of work could include:

  • providing temporary work platforms;
  • providing training in relation to the risks involved in work at the workplace; or
  • providing safe work procedures, safe sequencing of work, safe use of ladders, permit systems and appropriate signs.

A combination of controls may be used to minimise risks, so far as is practicable if a single control is not sufficient for the purpose.

Safe Work Method Statement

A PCBU must ensure a Safe Work Method Statement is prepared for high risk construction work that involves a risk of a person falling more than three metres before the work commences.

In the event that the only appropriate way of managing the risk of a fall greater than three metres is through administrative controls and the use of personal protective equipment, the Safe Work Method Statement must describe each of the control measures that were considered in reaching this decision.

Further information

Managing the risks of plant in the workplace - Code of practice