Frequently Asked Questions

Product Information

In March 2018, one worker died, and two others received serious injuries, including fractures and spinal injuries, after falling through skylights & plastic roof sheeting. Safe work NSW issued a number of safety alerts and required procedures to follow.

The alert recommended a number of required actions and said that before commencing work on an existing roof, it is important to carry out an inspection to determine:

•The presence and condition of sky lights, plastic roof sheeting and other brittle roof sheeting such as asbestos cement sheeting

•The presence and integrity of safety mesh.

Not all areas on a roof are safe to walk on or step or fall onto if you stumble or lose balance, and the alert said that even plastic sheeting that is claimed to be trafficable can become brittle over time and is highly reliant on correct installation to be trafficable. Skylight protection can be as simple as a mesh cover, or slightly more complex, like a roof walkway crossover system for maintenance workers.

View our full range of skylight protection Check out our skylight protection system we installed for HSV

The Compliance Code and “Prevention of Falls in General Construction” document states the following: Safety mesh is not a working platform in its own right and should not be walked on where it spans purlins. Although safety mesh is an excellent form of fall protection it is not safe to walk on, a roof walkway crossover system should be installed to eliminate any need to walk on the safety mesh. Easily visible & clear signs alerting the workers of the potential danger of falling through fragile roofing and installing a Guardrail and walkway system is a great way to highlight the path workers should take instead of walking on the safety mesh. If your skylights have safety wire mesh installed, you need to ensure the safety wire mesh complies with the Australian Standard AS/NZS 439 Safety Mesh. It needs to be structurally sound and must be checked for corrosion. The age, type of material and environmental elements that it is exposed to can all impact on its integrity. Correct installation is vital, and the mesh needs to be securely connected, overlapped and joined in order to provide adequate fall protection.

Roof access hatches are the perfect solution where safe internal access and egress to your roof is available for maintenance personnel, but we must ensure the hatches are installed correctly and have a perimeter guardrail. Perimeter Guardrails are designed to provide fall protection around the void of an open hatch. Guardrails are essential in providing a barrier for those on the roof and therefore are a must when an access hatch is installed.

Browse our guardrail range today

The correct placement and installation is integral to the effectiveness of this type of equipment arresting a fall therefore, only persons trained and experienced should be installing the devices. There is no law stating that a qualified person must install, although the Workplace Health and Safety Regulation section 306A states that Anchor points must be inspected and approved by a competent person before the anchorage point is first used by any person.

Click here to view the full range of fall arrest anchors

Over 6 meters is when a fixed ladder needs to be installed. The maximum height a step ladder can extend between landing without added protection is 6m ≥70° to 75° and 4.5m for ≥75° to 90° otherwise a caged ladder with intermediate landings are required. To limit the distance a person could fall, a change of direction by 180°, or staggering at each landing is required. Where a person could fall more than 6 m to a level below, the step ladder must be fitted with a side screen, or a ladder cage to prevent a fall.

Click here for a good read on ladder safety Safe use of Ladders Fact Sheet

Yes, walkways that have an incline greater than 12 degrees require handrails to protect the operator from a potential fall, but walkways that have an incline less than 12 degrees only require cleats.

The height of a guardrail measured vertically above the floor shall be not less than 900 mm. The preferred minimum height is 1000 mm.

Click here to check out the full range of Anchor Safes Guardrail systems

Guardrails and roof walkways are the most recommended fall protection system in the hierarchy of control measures, as they provide the highest level of fall prevention for roof access and working at heights

Levelled walkways are required when the roof pitch is greater than 7 degrees.

Click to view Anchor Safes full range of roof walkways

No not all anchors are suitable for abseil. Surface Mount Abseil anchors are the most suitable anchor for abseil. These are used when abseil is required over the side of a building and the roof membrane is a metal cladding rather than concrete.

Click here to view the different types of Anchor Points and where to use them.

The anchorage should be located directly above the work area to minimise swing falls. See illustration below. Click here to read about the hidden dangers of working at heights

PPE Equipment

ITEM

REFERENCE 

FREQUENCY 

Personal equipment including harnesses, lanyards, connectors, fall arrest devices including common use devices

Clause 9.2

Before and after each use.

By a height safety operator or – if not competent – by another competent person.

Harnesses, lanyards, associated personal equipment.

Fall arrest devices (external inspection only)

Ropes and slings

Clause 9.3.2

 

Clause 9.3.4(a)

 

Clause 9.7

6 monthly inspection.

By a height safety equipment inspector

Anchorages – Drilled in type or attached to timber frames

Anchorages – Other types

Clause 9.3.3

 

Clause 9.3.3

12 monthly inspection

As recommended by manufacturer to a maximum of 5 years

12 monthly inspection in the absence of such recommendation

By a height safety equipment inspector

Fall arrest devices – Full service

Clause 9.3.4(b)

As recommended by manufacturer to a maximum of 5 years

12 monthly service in the absence of such recommendation

By a height safety equipment inspector

Horizontal and Vertical Lifelines – steel rope or rail

Clause 9.3.5

As recommended by manufacturer to a maximum of 5 years

12 monthly service in the absence of such recommendation

By a height safety equipment inspector

Horizontal and Vertical Lifelines – Fibre rope / web

Clause 9.3.5 & 9.7

6 monthly inspection

By a height safety equipment inspector

All items that have been stressed as a result of a fall

Clause 9.5

Inspection before further use

By a height safety equipment inspector


Working safely at heights training course (RIIWS204D)

Maintaining your skills and knowledge is a requirement under the Australian Standard AS/NZS 1891.4. Appendix E4 states that:

"Persons should be reassessed, at appropriate intervals, to confirm ongoing competency relevant to their tasks associated with working in a fall risk environment, in particular persons required to perform emergency rescues need to be reassessed on an annual basis. A person should be retrained whenever they cannot demonstrate ongoing competency. The duration of retraining should be sufficient for the person to demonstrate the required competencies."

In order to remain competent and keep up to date with any changes Anchor Safe suggests a refresher training every 2-3 years. Contact us now for this year’s training dates


Inspection Requirements & Regulations

The Work Health & Safety Regulations 2011, Chapter 6, Part 6.1, state that working from a surface that is 2 metres or more above the surrounding level is classified as “high risk work” and must be controlled using the risk management hierarchy of control. However the Work Health & Safety Regulations, Chapter 4, Part 4.4, makes it clear that any risk of a fall from one level to another, even if less than 2 metres which would cause an injury, needs to be controlled.n
Yes, a height safety system is required by Work Health & Safety regulations to ensure a safe path of access to anyone who works at heights on your building. Regulation 78 of the Work Health & Safety Regulations 2011 requires a PCBU at a workplace to manage, in accordance with Part 3.1 the risk of a fall by a person from one level to another, where that fall is reasonably likely to cause injury to the person or any other person. As a building owner or manager, it is your responsibility to ensure that anyone who works at height on your buildings is doing so as safely as possible. This includes any sub-contractors and their workers. Your duty of care requires you to manage the risks to health and safety by providing: 1.Safe work environment ( Learn the Hierarchy of Controls for Working at Height) 2.Safe plant and structures (Audit your access and fall protection equipment regularly) 3.Safe systems of work (Keep up to date with Industry Acts, Codes, Standards and Guidelines) 4.Safe use, handling & storage of plant, structures & substances 5.PPE 6.Information, training, instruction and supervision (Review your working at height procedures and practices regularly) View our top 5 myths busted around height safety systems

If your system has not been inspected or re-certified in the last 12 months, it is time to get it checked. Due to changes in standards and regulations, what was once a compliant system may no longer meet all the requirements. Regular maintenance and inspection of your systems is recommended to ensure that anyone working at heights on your buildings is protected.

A height safety specialist can conduct an audit and will provide a report on your existing systems. They can also give you with information of what action you may need to take to ensure compliance. Under AS/NZS 1891, anchors must be tested annually. As a full-service provider Anchor Safe will arrange this for you, and we can also manage the rigorous record-keeping through our cloud-based reporting system.

Are your height safety systems fit to carry out ACP Inspections? Click here to find out.

Our height and roof safety experts identify areas of non-compliance and potential hazards that need attention. We then provide a height safety report with our detailed recommendations to rectify dangerous issues and ensure that our solutions adhere to proper roof safety standards.

ITEM

REFERENCE 

FREQUENCY 

Personal equipment including harnesses, lanyards, connectors, fall arrest devices including common use devices

Clause 9.2

Before and after each use.

By a height safety operator or – if not competent – by another competent person.

Harnesses, lanyards, associated personal equipment.

Fall arrest devices (external inspection only)

Ropes and slings

Clause 9.3.2

 

Clause 9.3.4(a)

 

Clause 9.7

6 monthly inspection.

By a height safety equipment inspector

Anchorages – Drilled in type or attached to timber frames

Anchorages – Other types

Clause 9.3.3

 

Clause 9.3.3

12 monthly inspection

As recommended by manufacturer to a maximum of 5 years

12 monthly inspection in the absence of such recommendation

By a height safety equipment inspector

Fall arrest devices – Full service

Clause 9.3.4(b)

As recommended by manufacturer to a maximum of 5 years

12 monthly service in the absence of such recommendation

By a height safety equipment inspector

Horizontal and Vertical Lifelines – steel rope or rail

Clause 9.3.5

As recommended by manufacturer to a maximum of 5 years

12 monthly service in the absence of such recommendation

By a height safety equipment inspector

Horizontal and Vertical Lifelines – Fibre rope / web

Clause 9.3.5 & 9.7

6 monthly inspection

By a height safety equipment inspector

All items that have been stressed as a result of a fall

Clause 9.5

Inspection before further use

By a height safety equipment inspector

The Building Code of Australia (BCA) is contained within the National Construction Code (NCC) and provides the minimum necessary requirements for safety, health, amenity and sustainability in the design and construction of new buildings (and new building work in existing buildings) throughout Australia.


Acts, Codes & Legislation

Codes of Practice assist you, your employees and your company by providing practical guidelines to enable compliance with the legal requirements of the WHS Act and Regulations. Codes of Practice cover various areas including:

•Management of risks and how to identify hazards

•Implementation and maintenance of control measures

•Types of devices for use regarding the risks or hazards

•Emergency procedures

•Design considerations

These do not replace the WHS laws, but Codes of Practice help you to easily understand what you need to do. Industry standards are not statutory documents but are admissible as evidence to prove unsafe equipment. The fall protection industry is regulated by a number of standard bodies that provide guidelines for everything from maximum free fall, rope strengths and testing methods for anchor systems.