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Do you have control measures in place for work at heights?

The Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011 (the WHS Regulation) sets out specific control measures for construction workers when there is a risk of fall from height.

These control measures will be required for work below three metres in housing construction, and below two metres for all other construction work, if a risk assessment identifies they are needed. Inspectors will take enforcement action if there is an uncontrolled risk a worker could fall. This could include issuing an improvement or prohibition notice.

In some cases, the risk can be eliminated by completing the work on the ground or on a solid structure. If this isn’t possible, the risk can be minimised using:

  • fall prevention devices (such as fences and edge protection)
  • work positioning systems (such as an elevating work platform)
  • fall arrest systems (such as safety nets and harnesses).

The WHS Regulation outline duties that apply to working at heights. This includes specific requirements and ways to manage the risks of falls. For further information, refer to the Managing the risk of falls at workplaces code of practice 2021 (PDF, 3.9 MB).

Construction work that involves the risk of people falling more than two metres is considered high risk construction work and the person conducting a business or undertaking must prepare a safe work method statement (s.291 and s.299). This applies to all construction work, including housing construction work.

Further information

Read more about managing the risks of working at heights.