The importance of height safety for Australian workers

Working at heights is a high risk activity. It’s a leading cause of serious injury and death in Australia, with a majority of fatalities occurring in the construction industry. It’s inevitable that workers will be exposed to these risks on a daily basis, which emphasises the importance of building a height safety culture in the Australian workforce.

The call for prevention and an increase in safety measures is justified by the chilling facts surrounding fall-related fatalities in Australia. Reducing the hazards of working at heights requires an understanding of the risks.


Between 2003 and 2015:

  • 359 workers were killed following a fall from height (11% of work related fatalities)
  • Half of these falls were from three metres or less
  • A large number of these deaths involved falling from roofs (59), ladders (54), vehicles (27) and horses (33)
  • 37% of fall-related fatalities occurred in the construction industry
  • 65% of those who died were over the age of 45


The lives that were lost and the injuries incurred over this time period could have been completely avoided. It lies within each workplace or employer to promote height safety practices and ensure appropriate training is provided.

Workers can overcome the risks by developing an instinctive application of correct height safety procedures. It’s important to offer training in the workplace to deliver skills that can ensure Australian workers are not involved in practices that could impose a harmful threat to their safety.

If the correct height safety practices are not researched thoroughly and incorporated by an experienced height safety expert, fall-related fatalities and injuries will be an ongoing concern in Australia. The proper use of height safety equipment, correctly maintained height safety systems and an overall safe working environment will save lives.

Regardless of the industry, adequate height safety practices are required for any work that involves heights. Assessing the risks and identifying the appropriate safety equipment and practices should be mandatory in every workplace.

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