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Working at heights

A person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU) at a workplace must manage risks to health and safety associated with a fall by a person from one level to another that is reasonably likely to cause injury to the person or any other person. (This does not apply to horse riding).

Falling from a height is a serious risk when repairing, maintaining or gaining access to:

  • silos
  • windmills
  • towers
  • sheds/barns
  • mezzanine floors
  • other structures.


When you are working high above the ground it is important to think about the risks including:

  • height of the work
  • guard rails or other edge protection
  • roof pitch and surface conditions
  • weather conditions like wind strength
  • complexity of task.


To prevent anyone falling, the following controls should be put in place:

  • alternatives to working at height e.g. fill feed silos pneumatically from the feed supply truck
  • erect edge protection or guard rails
  • place a fall protection cover over an opening
  • provide a travel restraint or fall-arrest harness system
  • provide an industrial safety net.


Ladders should not be used when working at a height. Follow advice for the safe use of ladders when undertaking construction work in Pt 6.3 Div 4 of the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011.

The type of work that can be safely performed on a ladder is limited. Scaffolding or an elevating work platform provides a much safer way to work at heights.