December 20 2023 0Comment
Working Height Australia - Risk and Safety Measures - Stronghold

Working at Height in Australia: Understanding the Risks and Implementing Safety Measures

In Australia, working at height is a common aspect of various industries, from construction to maintenance and obviously scaffolding. These tasks, whether they’re in bustling city centres or rural areas, often involve working above ground level. However, such activities carry significant risks, including the potential for falls and related accidents. This blog aims to clarify what working at height entails, explore the associated dangers, and highlight the essential safety measures required to protect workers. Our goal is to provide a straightforward and comprehensive understanding of how to effectively manage and reduce these risks, ensuring the safety and well-being of Australia’s workforce.

Navigating the Altitudes of Working at Height

Working at height encapsulates any task performed where there’s a potential to fall from one level to another. This risk isn’t limited to skyscrapers or towering structures; it applies to any height above the ground that presents a fall hazard, such as near open excavations or above a subterranean space like a basement.

Navigating the Altitudes of Working at Height - Stronghold Hire

The Stark Reality of Height-Related Hazards

The statistics are sobering. Between 2015 and 2019, falls from height were responsible for 11% of workplace fatalities in Australia. That’s roughly 29 individuals annually, with half of these incidents involving falls from under three meters — a height that many might erroneously deem safe.

The Human and Economic Toll

The cost of falls from height extends well beyond the financial. Workers aged 45 and over – often with dependents — represent 65% of the fatalities. The emotional aftermath for families is incalculable: the loss of a parent, partner, or sibling leaves a void far greater than the financial one. On the economic front, workers’ compensation claims for fall-related injuries amount to an average of 21 per day, with claims averaging $14,000 and typically resulting in six weeks of lost work time.

The Legal Implications

In the tragic occurrence of a fall, the responsibility doesn’t only lie with the worker; building owners, employers, and contractors are also legally accountable. This underscores the critical importance of ensuring the highest safety standards in workplaces at height.

Proactive Risk Reduction Strategies

The most effective strategy is to eliminate the need to work at height where possible. If a task can be safely performed at ground level, it should be. When elimination isn’t feasible, substitution and isolation are the next lines of defence. Permanent solutions such as guardrails, walkways, and platforms should be employed to separate workers from fall hazards.

The Role of Temporary Safety Measures - Stronghold Hire

The Role of Temporary Safety Measures

Where permanent solutions are impractical, temporary measures like edge protection, scaffolding, and barriers must be deployed. These safeguards are critical for ensuring a secure working environment and are preferable to personal fall protection equipment (PFPE), which is a last-resort safety measure.

PFPE: The Final Layer of Safety

Personal Fall Protection Equipment, including harnesses, lanyards, and anchor points, should only be utilised when other forms of protection are unattainable. While PFPE is vital in certain situations, it is not a substitute for collective protective measures that can prevent falls.

Our dedication Workplace Safety - Stronghold Hire Sydney

Our Dedication to Workplace Safety

At the vanguard of height safety, our offerings include an array of collective protection measures, such as advanced roof edge protection and versatile scaffolding systems. These are designed to meet the varied demands of the Australian workforce, prioritising safety and adherence to AS/NZS 4994.2 standards.

In sum, the complexity of working at height in Australia requires a commitment to the highest safety standards and a proactive stance towards risk mitigation. As a leader in providing safety solutions, we invite you to learn more about our services. For a safer work environment at height, give us a call now on 02 89852020 or contact us online to discover the difference proactive safety measures can make.


We have over 20 years combined experience in the scaffolding and labour hire industry with clients ranging from government bodies and large construction companies through to smaller subcontractors such as painters, plumbers, lift installers, electricians, roof tilers and renderers. We are one of the leading providers of scaffolding labour hire throughout the Sydney area and our experienced and qualified scaffolders can ensure your projects are erected and dismantled on time and on budget.

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