Hazards Management

Work at Height Procedure

Policy code: CG1866
Policy owner: Manager, Health, Safety and Wellbeing
Approval authority: University Health and Safety Policy Committee
Approval date: 04 October 2006
Next review date: 24 February 2025

Purpose

This procedure will ensure that the risk of injury associated with Work at Height in University activities is eliminated or minimised, with particular focus on the risk of falls.

Scope

This Procedure applies to all work at height (as defined).

Legislative Context

  • Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 (Vic)
  • Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2017 (Vic)
  • Prevention of falls in general construction, WorkSafe Victoria compliance code, December 2019

Definitions

A list of definitions relevant to this procedure is contained within the Health and Safety Policy.  A further list of definitions specifically relevant to this procedure is included below:

Term Definition
Authorised Work at Height Supervisor

(For University staff and contractors employed in building and construction trades.) A person who has been assessed by a Coordinator or Manager of Federation University’s Property and Infrastructure to have the competencies and authority to review and approve Work at Height Permits under this Procedure.

(For other University staff and students.) An employee of the University who has been assessed by a Coordinator or Manager of Federation University’s Health, Safety and Wellbeing Department to have the competencies and authority to review and approve Work at Height Permits under this Procedure. 

Fall hazard The potential for a person to fall more than two metres.  Such a fall may occur from a height greater than two metres, but also down a pit or shaft deeper than two metres.
Work at height Any task that an employee, contractor or student undertakes in the context of occupational, educational, research, commercial, or other University-endorsed activities, whatever the location, where a fall hazard has been identified.  Sporting activities and theatrical performances are not included within the scope of the Work at Height Procedure. However:
•    whilst the sporting activities and theatrical performances themselves are not included, all work at height associated with setting up, maintaining, and dismantling sporting equipment, theatrical props, lighting, etc., is included; and
•    the general requirement for HIRAC reviews as described in the Hazard Identification, Risk Assessment and Control (HIRAC) Procedure still applies if any hazard, such as a fall hazard, is present in the sporting or theatrical performance.

Actions

1. Planning Work at Height

  ACTIVITY RESPONSIBILITY STEPS
A.      Planning Work at Height Supervisor/Manager in charge of any person planning to perform Work at Height
  1. Ensure a Safe Work Method Statement (SWMS) of the proposed work and a Work at Height Permit  have been completed in consultation with relevant staff, contractors, students and local Health and Safety Representative.
  2. Ensure the risks associated with the planned work are controlled as far as practicable in accordance with the hierarchy of control measures outlined in the Permit.
  3. Submit the SWMS and Work at Height Permit to an Authorised Work at Height Supervisor at least 24 hours prior to the start of the planned work at height. (See note 1)
    Note 1: For unplanned work at height, a fully completed SWMS and Permit are still required, but the Authorised Work at Height Supervisor may agree to a shorter submission period.
  4. Ensure any staff, contractors and students involved in the work at height have received appropriate training, information, instruction and supervision.

2. Authorising, performing and completing Work at Height

  ACTIVITY RESPONSIBILITY STEPS
A.      Gaining authorisation to perform Work at Height Authorised Work at Height Supervisor
  1. Review any Work at Height Permit and SWMS submitted to you.
  2. Determine whether the Permit and SWMS have been completed correctly and whether the work can proceed safely, as far as can reasonably be ascertained.
  3. Grant/not grant authorisation to proceed with the work at height under the terms of the Permit and SWMS.
B.      Safely performing work at height Supervisor/Manager in charge of any person performing Work at Height
  1. Ensure all conditions in the Work at Height Permit and the associated SWMS are fully implemented throughout the duration of the work.
  2. End the Work at Height if the conditions of the Permit and/or the SWMS are not, or cannot be, implemented, or if it becomes apparent that the work is dangerous despite complying with the risk control measures specified in the Permit and/or SWMS.
  3. For changed site conditions, such as unsafe weather or change in task activities, stop work and amend the SWMS and Work at Height Permit in consultation with relevant staff, contractors and students. Obtain new approval from the Authorised Work at Height Supervisor prior to resuming the work at height.
University employees, contractors and students performing Work at Height
  1. Perform the work in accordance with the information, instructions and training you have received from your Supervisor/Manager.
  2. Interrupt work and report to your Supervisor/Manager any situation that renders the Work at Height dangerous.
C.    Completing Work at Height Supervisor/Manager in charge of any person performing Work at Height
  1. On completion of the Work at Height, re-submit the Permit to the Authorised Work at Height Supervisor for sign-off.
Authorised Work at Height Supervisor
  1. Satisfy yourself that the work has been completed to a satisfactory and safe standard before signing off the section titled "Completion of Work" on any Work at Height Permit. 

Supporting Documents

Forms

Responsibility

  • The University Health and Safety Policy Committee is responsible for monitoring the implementation, outcomes and scheduled review of this procedure.
  • The Manager – Health, Safety and Wellbeing is responsible for maintaining the content of this procedure as delegated by the Health and Safety Policy Committee.

Promulgation

The Work at Height Procedure will be communicated throughout the University community in the form of:

  • an Announcement Notice via FedNews website and on the ‘Recently Approved Documents’ page on the ‘Policies, Procedures and Forms @ the University’ website; and
  • an email to the Director and Managers of Property and Infrastructure.

Implementation

The Work at Height Procedure will be implemented throughout the University via an Announcement Notice via:

  • an Announcement Notice via FedNews website and on the ‘Recently Approved Documents’ page on the ‘Policies, Procedures and Forms @ the University’ website; and
  • an email to the Director and Managers of Property and Infrastructure.

Records Management

Document Title Location Responsible Officer Minimum Retention Period
Work at Height Permit

School/Directorate/College/Centre of staff or students who performed the Work at Height

Property and Infrastructure for trades staff and contractors

Dean/Director Destroy seven (7) years after work has been completed
Safe Work Method Statement (SWMS)

School/Directorate/College/Centre of staff or students who performed the Work at Height

Property and Infrastructure for trades staff and contractors

Dean/Director Destroy seven (7) years after analysis was undertaken