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Working at Height

Last updated: April 22, 2019

What Does Working at Height Mean?

Working at height is a high-risk activity that refers to work undertaken in any place where, if there were no safety precautions in place, a person could fall a certain distance, resulting in personal injury (e.g. falling through a fragile roof).

It is recommended to undertake a risk assessment prior to working at height to determine if the work can be avoided.

Safeopedia Explains Working at Height

Much of the work done at height could often be done, or partially done, at ground level, thus avoiding the hazards of working at height. However, if there is no other alternative and working at height needs to be carried out, a hierarchy of measures should then be followed to prevent falls from occurring. Some of these measures include:

  • Provision of a properly constructed working platform, complete with toe boards and guardrails—if this is not practicable or where the work is of short duration, suspension equipment should be used.
  • Provision of collective fall arrest equipment or individual fall restrainers (i.e. safety nets, safety harnesses)
  • Ladders or stepladders should be considered when none of the above measures are practicable.

In most construction activities, working at height cannot be avoided or done at ground level. Therefore, suitable control measures to address the hazards of working at height will be required.


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