Falls, especially from height, are a major cause of death and serious injury in Australia.

Falls can occur at ground level, however, are also found where work is carried out at any height. Western Sydney University is required, so far as is reasonably practical to manage the risk of falls at University workplaces.

The Code of practice - Managing the risk of falls at the workplace, provides practical advice on managing the risk of falls, including working at heights.

Working at heights

Working at heights is considered a high risk activity and must be completed in accordance with a University approved risk assessment. There is no height limit on what is considered working at heights.

Working at height can include but may not be limited to:

  • Working on a roof, plant or structure at an elevated level.
  • Working from a ladder, scaffold, work platform or cherry picker.
  • Working from a platform on the top of a vehicle.
  • Work in an area where an opening or ledge exists that a person could fall through (e.g. a hole, shaft or pit).
  • Work involving climbing e.g mast work.
  • Work on a surface which a person may fall through e.g. ceiling space or skylight.


Working at heights that requires the use of a harness must be performed by someone with a current working safely at heights certificate. Two or more people mst be present and a working at heights rescue plan must be considered.

Harnesses must comply with AS 1891.4.


All ladders used in the University must be industrially rated and comply with Australian Standard 1892.5.


Scaffolding and scaffold equipment must comply with AS 1576. The area around the scaffold must be kept clear, and warning signs must be placed to prevent unauthorised access.