This good practice guide will provide practical guidance to employers, contractors, employees and all others engaged in work associated with working at height.
Preventing falls from height is a priority for the WorkSafe and it expects that work at height is actively managed so that people are not harmed.
Investigations by WorkSafe into falls while working at height show that more than 50 percent of falls are from less than three metres and approximately 70 percent of falls are from ladders and roofs. More injuries happen on residential building sites than any other workplace in the construction sector. In 2012 the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment initiated a targeted harm reduction programme to address the issue through the Preventing Falls from Height Project.
The Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992 (the HSE Act) sets out the performance required of duty holders. If elimination is not practicable then steps should be taken to isolate people from the hazard.
If neither elimination nor isolation are practicable then steps should be taken to minimise the likelihood of any harm resulting. The Good Practice Guideline Working at Height in New Zealand is a generic guide that is not industry-specific.
The Good Practice Guidelines Working at Height in New Zealand provide health and safety guidance to all people working at height and those involved in the planning and preparatory stages of any project that includes work at height. These guidelines also outline how people working at height and those involved in the process can meet their obligations under the HSE Act and the Health and Safety in Employment Regulations 1995 (HSE Regulations). The guidelines apply to all people who have a duty (legal obligation) to provide a safe place of work and ensure safe work practice. These guidelines outline best practice methods for assessing the hazard of working at height and the control methods for preventing falls.
Work at height means working in a place where a person could be injured if they fell from one level to another. The HSE Act requires that if there is a potential for a person at work to fall from any height, reasonable and practicable steps must be taken to prevent harm from resulting.
Short duration work at height shall be treated the same way as any other activity at height. Physical inspections – walk around the workplace using a checklist to identify and manage hazards. Process analysis – identify hazards at each stage of the production or service delivery process. Analysis of accident investigation – identify hazards and causal factors from investigations involving similar types of work. Select the best work method to eliminate, isolate or minimise (in that order) the potential for harm resulting from the significant hazard.
Where unguarded trestles or platforms are used, or the work will be done from a ladder or stilts, the risk of harm shall be minimised through management controls and the provision of appropriate training. As well as the hierarchy of controls, think about the controls that protect multiple people from falling. Personal controls only look after individuals and rely on active judgement by the user for them to work safely (eg fall restraint harness and fall arrest). Figure 2 provides assistance for selecting the best equipment for keeping people safe at height. Working conditions - Slopes, poor ground, obstructions and traffic can determine the choice of work equipment.
Distance to be negotiated for access and egress - Ladders are likely to be less suitable for higher access. Distance and consequences of a fall - A fall arrest system would be ineffective if the deployment length was greater than the fall height. Duration and frequency of use - Long-duration, higher frequency work justifies a higher standard of fall protection, eg a tower scaffold rather than a ladder. Rescue - If rescue from a deployed fall arrest system is going to be difficult, choose other work equipment, eg an EWP. Additional risk posed by the installation and removal of work equipment - An EWP used by one person may entail less risk than exposing two or three people to erect a tower or scaffold for the one person to work safely.
A good record of the planning process and communications with clients, contractors, workers, and other site visitors should be maintained.
Consideration of elimination controls should occur early in the project development stage in order to allow necessary design, planning and coordination.
Examples of tools and equipment include using long-handled tools, such as paint rollers or window brushes with extendable handles, thereby eliminating the need to work from a ladder. This section outlines a range of controls to isolate or minimise the potential for harm resulting from a fall.
Controls such as harness systems and temporary work platforms provide a lesser form of protection, and should only be considered when group controls are not practicable.
All scaffolds should comply with the Scaffolding, Access & Rigging New Zealand (SARNZ) Best Practice Guidelines for Scaffolding in New Zealand or equivalent guidelines or a higher standard.
All scaffolds should be erected, altered and dismantled by persons who have been trained and have suitable experience with the type of scaffolding being used.
All scaffolds from which a person or object could fall more than five metres, as well as all suspended scaffolds, should be erected, altered and dismantled by or under the direct supervision of a person with an appropriate Certificate of Competency. All scaffolds shall be supplied with adequate information for the scaffold user, such as a scaffold tag or handover certificate. Where a scaffold is used as a means of protecting people working on a roof, it is preferred that the scaffold is set up in a manner that prevents a fall from occurring, regardless of the distance of the fall. Persons erecting edge protection could potentially be exposed to the hazard of working at height until the installation is completed.
A guardrail must be constructed to withstand the forces that are likely to be applied to it during as a result of the work. General guardrail systems shall be between 900 mm and 1100 mm in height with a single mid rail located halfway between the work platform and the top rail. Guardrail systems that are installed to protect an edge of a sloping roof surface have specific design requirements because of the increased potential for workers to fall against them and the potential for a person to slip under the mid rail. Guardrail systems for sloping roofs shall be configured to prevent a worker sliding between the roof surface and the rails.
If the slope of the roof exceeds 25 degrees, a roof ladder should be used in addition to perimeter guardrails (or a harness system) to reduce the likelihood of worker slipping. Barriers should be used to cordon off elevated areas including roofs, balconies and open excavations where edge protection is not provided and people are not permitted access.
Mechanical access plant includes all mechanically operated plant that can be used to gain access for the purpose of working at height.
These are specialised pieces of equipment often designed for particular types of operation. It is essential that these types of plant are operated within the manufacturer’s guidelines.
Some MEWPs are designed for hard flat surfaces only (eg concrete slab), while others are designed for operating on rough and uneven terrain. Units powered by internal combustion engines are not suitable for use in buildings or areas with poor natural ventilation unless appropriate artificial ventilation is provided.
An operator in a boom-style MEWP shall wear a safety harness with a lanyard incorporating a short energy absorber attached to a certified anchor point.
Operators should not over-reach or climb over the rails of the MEWP platform to reach a work area. Scissor lifts and other elevating work platforms such as cherry pickers can be used as a means of access to a work area. On a scissor lift a harness should be worn unless a hazard assessment has clearly demonstrated that the work can be undertaken without a harness and there is no risk of falling. Work platforms may be constructed to be raised or lowered using a forklift and these should be used in accordance with the Approved Code of Practice for Training Operators and Instructors of Powered Industrial Lift Trucks (Forklifts) – Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.
Where no other practical and suitable method is available, a working platform may be suspended from a crane and the worker must be attached to the hook.
A knuckle boom has a second articulated joint partway along the arm to allow for extra flexibility and reach for the work platform. If an extension arm is attached to a MEWP, a design certificate from a chartered professional engineer (CPEng) with experience in this field shall be obtained. Further information on the safe use of MEWPs is provided in the AS 2550.10 Cranes, hoists and winches – Safe use – Mobile elevating work platforms. Safety mesh is the preferred system for protecting construction workers against falling through a roof while they are laying roof sheets. Safety mesh should be used in conjunction with appropriate edge protection such as guardrails. Particular care is required to ensure that the mesh is securely connected to the structure and the overlap between adjacent sections of mesh is sufficient to achieve the necessary strength to resist the force of a person falling onto it.
Use scaffolding or elevating work platforms to obtain safe access for installation workers.
The safety mesh should be covered by the roof cladding as soon as possible after it has been installed.
The mesh is first cut to the right length and is then run out over the roof using a continuous rope system. A harness system enables a person to be positioned and safely supported at a work location for the duration of the task being undertaken at height. The preferred harness system for working at height is the total restraint system (sometimes referred to as a travel restraint system). The system consists of equipment rated for a fall – such as a full body harness that is connected by a lanyard or safety line to a suitable anchorage point or horizontal lifeline. A fall arrest system is an assembly of interconnected components consisting of a harness which is connected to an anchorage point by means of a lanyard incorporating an energy absorber.
When fall arrest systems are used an appropriate safety helmet shall be worn to protect the worker from head injury during an uncontrolled fall. Work positioning systems enable a person to work supported in a harness under tension in a way that a fall is prevented. Permanent anchor systems are exposed to environmental and other working stressors during their lives.
The expected design life of the anchor and the required maintenance should be specified by the designer. A temporary anchor can include proprietary fittings or an appropriate arrangement of strops and ropes. The roof or other building component to which an anchor is to be attached shall be checked by a competent person to verify that it is suitable for supporting the anchor. Anchor points should ideally be positioned above head height of the worker to limit the free-fall distance.
For further information, refer to the Best Practice Guidelines for Industrial Rope Access in New Zealand.
All harness work requires training and competence and only trained and competent personnel can install and use harness systems on site. For workers who are to complete basic work while under total restraint, a recommended means of achieving competence is NZQA Unit Standard 23229 – Use a safety harness for personal fall prevention when working at height, or an equivalent or higher qualification.
A recommended means of obtaining competence for workers who are involved in planning, installing, operating fall arrest systems and supervising staff is NZQA Unit Standard 15757 – Use, install and disestablish proprietary fall arrest systems when working at height or an equivalent or higher level of qualification. When a fall arrest system is being used, the potential free-fall distance should be less than two metres. There should be sufficient distance between the work surface and any surface below to enable the system, including the action of any shock absorber, to deploy fully. There should not be excessive slack in the fall arrest line between the user and the attachment. Where the pendulum effect is possible, it is better to use a work positioning system or another means of access such as an elevating work platform. A recommended means of achieving competency for rescue planning is NZQA Unit Standard 23232 – Develop a rescue plan for recovery of a suspended individual after a fall or equivalent or higher standard.
A proprietary system is a lifeline that is designed and installed in accordance with a manufacturer’s specification. An engineered system is a lifeline that is designed and installed by a qualified structural engineer. Temporary work platforms should be constructed by a competent person and should be suitable for carrying out specific work that is most often under five metres in height. Guardrails, including mid rails and toe boards, should be provided on the exposed sides and end of all working platforms regardless of height. All scaffolds or TWPs, from which a person may fall five metres or more, are required to be notified to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, and shall be erected by a person holding a relevant certificate of competency. A variety of non-scaffold temporary work platforms are available, some with guardrail protection and some without.
Proprietary TWPs are generally used on firm level ground and the manufacturer’s instructions for the use of the platform shall be followed. A hazard assessment shall be carried out to determine which TWP should be used for completing the working at height task.
These platforms come in a variety of design configurations and may be of a fixed height or have adjustable deck heights. Podium, folding or step-up platforms and platforms with no edge protection are generally intended for short-term interior work. Trestle scaffolds are only suitable for low-level work because of the difficulty of incorporating a guardrail system.
The hazard assessment also must show that other alternative controls that give more protection cannot be used. Steel or aluminium fold-out trestles are used in conjunction with scaffold boards or staging. Another form of trestle is a self-supporting stand including horizontal members designed to support one end of a light-duty work platform. A step platform provides a safer alternative to a stepladder, especially where the task involves working at height for extended periods or with restricted vision (such as welding or other hot work). Stilts allow a construction worker to reach high places when taping, stopping and texturing plasterboard in the interior of the building.


Use stilts on even surfaces and on floor areas clear of rubbish or building materials, and where openings are covered. The use of stilts raises a worker’s centre of gravity, making them less stable and prone to tripping, overbalancing, or falling through openings in floors or walls.
Design, fabrication and erection of temporary work platforms from building materials must meet sound design and construction principles as prescribed by existing construction standards such as SARNZ Best Practice Guidelines for Scaffolding in New Zealand.
Temporary work platforms must never be constructed from construction materials such as pallets, bricks, concrete blocks, buckets or barrels, furniture, nail boxes, or packing crates.
The narrowest width of the platform should never be less than half of its height from the ground at the highest point.
A catch platform is a platform attached to a scaffold to contain debris falling from a working platform.
The platform shall be of robust construction and designed to sustain the maximum potential impact load. More information on catch platforms and fans on scaffolds can be found in the Best Practice Guidelines for Scaffolding in New Zealand. The purpose of a SLS is to mitigate the effect of falls from height during construction by providing an energy-absorbing landing area.
Refer to PAS 59:2004 – Filled collective fall arrest systems, available from the British Standards Institute. Safety nets are used on construction sites and similar works mainly to arrest a person’s fall, although they can also be used to catch or contain debris. Fixed crawl boards and roof ladders may be used to provide permanent access to a work positioning system, or on pitched or brittle roofs to gain access to service plant. On brittle roofs guardrails should be permanently installed on crawl boards and fixed roof ladders. Temporary roof ladders and crawl boards should be of the same standard as for permanent installations. The bracket on the top of a crawl board or roof ladder should be sufficiently deep to reach over the ridge and lap the roof framing. Ladders and step ladders do not offer fall protection and therefore should be the last form of work access equipment to be considered. Ladders and stepladders should be of trade or industrial standard and be rated at not less than 120 kg. Overload—the person and anything they are taking up should not exceed the highest safe working load stated on the ladder.
Over-reach—keep the line of the belt buckle (navel) inside the stiles with both feet on the same rung throughout the task. When working from stepladders, avoid work that imposes side loading, such as sideon drilling through solid materials. Where side-on loadings cannot be avoided, prevent the stepladder from tipping over by tying the steps to a suitable point, or use a more suitable type of access equipment. The person footing the ladder should remain in the position described until the person using the ladder has descended to a point where they can safely step onto the ground.
Ladder stability devices are available and may offer additional means of achieving ladder stability where other methods would not work, eg tying or footing. Ladder stability devices and ladder levellers should only be used strictly in accordance with the manufacturer’s and supplier’s instructions for use. The following should be checked before using a ladder and after any incident (eg ladder being dropped).
The following is a list of some of the more common issues that should be considered when identifying the hazard of working at height.
Access using insulated work platforms and insulated tools is specialist work, and may only be carried out by workers who have the required competency to industry standards, and in accordance with approved industry procedures. Overhead conductors are disconnected from service by the power supply company and the work area is confirmed to be safe. Contact the power company to obtain written confirmation of the safe working distance and then plan all work to be conducted from outside of the zone as per the instructions of the power company.
Establish a plan that ensures that work can be achieved without likelihood that the minimum approach distances (MAD) (as set out in The New Zealand Electrical Code of Practice for Electrical Safe Distances NZECP34:2001 (NZECP 34)) will be breached. Work in close proximity of live lines should be completed by workers who have the required electricity industry competency. Access using insulated work platforms and insulated tools is specialist work, and may only be carried out by workers who have the required competency to electricity industry standards, and in accordance with approved industry procedures. The HSE Act applies to all people at work and others persons in, or in the vicinity of, a place of work. A principal is a person or a company that engages any other person or company, other than as an employee, to do any work for gain or reward. A principal to a contract is responsible for the health and safety of employees of contractors and subcontractors. Putting work out to contract doesn’t remove any of the principal’s health and safety obligations. For further details refer to A Principal’s Guide to Contracting to meet the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992 plus its summary, Health and Safety in Contracting Situations. Employers are responsible for the health and safety of employees and of any other people who may be affected by the actions or inactions of employees. An employer is required to take all practicable steps to ensure that work undertaken is safe. Employers shall have an effective method for identifying hazards to employees at work and must take all practicable steps to ensure that those hazards are controlled. An employee is defined by the HSE Act as any person of any age who is employed by an employer to do any work for hire or any reward under a contract of service, that is an employment agreement. An employee is responsible for their own health and safety and must also ensure that their actions or inactions do not harm other people. Employees should bring to the attention of their supervisor any illness, ailment or other condition which may prevent or limit their ability to work at height.
Someone is self-employed who is working other than as an employee in one or more of the following types of work: providing goods or services for hire or reward under contract for services, or carrying on a business as a sole trader, or a partnership. Employers must provide reasonable opportunities for employees to participate effectively in on-going processes for the improvement of health and safety in a place of work. Where agreement cannot be reached on the system of employee participation, there are default provisions set out in the HSE Act. Where employee health and safety representatives are elected, they are entitled to paid leave to attend approved training courses. A trained employee health and safety representative may issue a hazard notice to an employer where they believe there is a hazard in the place of work, they have brought it to the employer’s attention and the issue has not been resolved. Employers and employees must deal with each other in good faith while seeking agreement on, developing and maintaining a system of employee participation. Approved codes of practice are guidelines which have been approved by the Minister of Labour under the HSE Act. Guidelines developed by, or in conjunction with, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment are an important source of guidance for how to meet the requirements of the HSE Act.
Where appropriate, New Zealand or other standards may be cited in approved codes of practice or guidelines.
This phrase applies to the general duties that must be carried out by employers, employees, self-employed people, people who control places of work and principals.
The HSE Act specifies that a person is required to take those steps only in respect of circumstances that the person knows or ought reasonably to know about.
Where the circumstances are known, or ought reasonably to be known, about the duty holder is required to take all steps that are reasonably practicable.
The degree of risk and severity of potential injury or harm must be balanced against the cost and feasibility of the safeguard. Any judgement of whether a safeguard was “reasonably practicable” is to be made taking into account common practice and knowledge throughout the industry.
Guidance on the practicable steps that should be taken for known hazards can be found in regulations, codes of practice, guidelines, standards, industry publications, manufacturers’ information, safety data sheets and user manuals. A component cast or fixed into a building or structure for the purpose of attaching a scaffold or safety line. A rigid or flexible line secured to an anchorage point along which a fall arrest device travels, or a flexible line which unreels from a fall arrest device. A physical or visual barrier is a rope, tape or another visual prompt suspended at height to act as a boundary around a work area to prevent access to a hazard. A person who has through a combination of training, education and experience, acquired knowledge and skills enabling that person to correctly perform a specified task. A person engaged by any person (other than as an employee) to do any work for gain or reward. The equipment where employees carry out their work that is attached to a crane’s hook block. Some form of guardrail or barrier designed to prevent a person reaching or falling over an exposed edge. A person employed by any other person to do any work for hire or reward, and in relation to any employer, means an employee of the employer. A person or organisation that employs any other person to do any work for hire or reward, and in relation to any employee, means an employer of the employee. The best strategy for protecting workers from falls is to eliminate the hazards that cause them. The following guidelines will help you develop a plan for responding promptly to falls and other emergencies. Identify emergencies that could affect your construction worksite: Identify any event that could threaten worker safety or health. Identify critical resources and rescue equipment: Prompt rescue won't happen without trained responders, appropriate medical supplies, and the right equipment for the emergency.
Rescue equipment: Identify on-site equipment that responders can use to rescue a suspended worker. Establish a chain of command: All workers must know their roles and responsibilities during an emergency.
Establish procedures for responding to emergencies: Procedures are instructions for accomplishing specific tasks. After an emergency, review the procedures; determine if they should be changed to prevent similar events and revise them accordingly. Document procedures for responding to emergencies and make sure they're available at the site. Identify off-site responders and inform them about any conditions at the site that may hinder a rescue effort.
Make sure responders have quick access to rescue and retrieval equipment, such as lifts and ladders.
Identify on-site equipment that can be used for rescue and retrieval, such as extension ladders and mobile lifts. If you can reach the victim, check for vital signs, administer CPR, attempt to stop bleeding, and make the victim comfortable.
Report injuries requiring overnight hospitalization and medical treatment (other than first aid) to OSHA within 24 hours. A farm worker suffocated to death after being engulfed in flowing grain while trying to clear a blocked auger. The blockage suddenly cleared and the flowing corn immediately began to suck one of the workers down. No fall protection devices or lifelines were used and there was no emergency stop system for the auger. Why you should rethink relying on 9-1-1 and outside emergency services to act as your sole confined space rescue plan, and how firefighters should be prepared and trained to respond to confined space 9-1-1 calls.
I agree wholeheartedly with what Captain O'Connor and Firefighter Tomb state in this well written article, but actually think that they don't go quite far enough. The main emphasis I would make is that the owner of the space is the one responsible for all of these arrangements. The Irish Times has published an annual directory of the Top 1000 companies in Ireland over the past 10 years. Unlike some animals, humans are not designed to hibernate, so don’t let winter be your excuse. ISRAEL - NOVEMBER 11: Search and rescue forces search through a fallen building for survivors during an exercise on November 11, 2010 in Israel. The cost of these falls is estimated to be $24 million a year – to say nothing of the human cost as a result of these falls.
These guidelines are a critical element of the programme and will give all who are involved with working at height clear direction on how to manage the work in a way that will bring down the death and injury toll.
People with a duty must take all practicable steps to ensure the safety of workers when they are exposed to a fall or where the hazard of a fall exists. This can be achieved using safe working platforms, guardrail systems, edge protection, scaffolding, elevated work platforms, mobile scaffolds and barriers to restrict access. This means considering the use of work positioning systems or travel restraint systems, safety harnesses, industrial rope access systems and soft landing systems.
Many industries have their own guidelines that address the specific issues which are unique to their working environments, for example, the electricity sector. It is essential that the hazards are identified before the work starts and that the necessary equipment, appropriate precautions and systems of work are provided and implemented.
It is mistakenly believed that no controls are needed where a person faces a fall of less than three metres. Appropriate fall prevention controls shall be put in place, regardless of the time duration of the task.
It may not be reasonably practicable to provide full edge protection for short duration work but it still needs to be considered during the assessment of hazards and should not be discounted. Management controls include effective housekeeping protocols and clear procedures for safe use of the equipment. Training, inspection and equipment maintenance are critical for these personal control measures to be effective. This figure steps through a comprehensive range of possible controls, starting with the most effective – elimination, and then working through isolation and minimisation.


For example, an elevating work platform (EWP) could reach over bad ground or obstructions as long as its stability was not compromised.
This could mean carrying out regular inspections of the control measures, discussing the control measures at tool box talks and site meetings with contractors, and actively supervising the work. The preferred approach is to apply group controls that isolate multiple workers from the risk of falling. This work must be notified to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment as particularly hazardous work. It may also be used in completed buildings, for example a permanent balustrade preventing a fall from a mezzanine floor. Pre-planning, such as a task analysis and a hazard analysis, will identify the hazards involved and which controls can be implemented to prevent harm during the erection process. Guardrails are a group control that can be installed to protect workers from building edges, roof edges, building openings, lift shafts and other similar ducts with wall or floor openings. Temporary guardrails should generally be constructed using a proprietary metal tube and clip system.
If there is a potential for tools or objects to be dropped during work a toe board should also be installed.
Work inside of shafts should, when practicable, be undertaken from a fully decked working platform; if this is not practicable, a harness system shall be used. They should be highly visible and capable of remaining in place during adverse weather conditions. Timber edge protection shall be constructed by a competent person and extreme caution is required to ensure the appropriateness of all materials used.
The line should be just long enough to provide free movement within the confines of the bucket. In this case, the worker should be protected by a double lanyard system fixed to a certified anchor point. The crane operator and the person using the platform should discuss the operation and maintain direct communication by line of sight or by telecommunication at all times.
Such certificates shall show that the platform meets the criteria in AS 2359.1 Powered Industrial Trucks for a power-operated work platform in relation to stability, strength and safety, provision of operating instructions and rated capacity. This specifies the minimum requirements for the design, construction, testing and installation of safety mesh for use in domestic, commercial and industrial building applications. However, the people installing the cladding should ensure that this does not happen until such time as the mesh has been formally inspected by a competent person as being installed in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. Harness systems are used for gaining access to, and working at, a workface where there is a risk of a fall. This system protects a user from approaching an unprotected edge, thereby preventing a free fall from occurring. It is not a work positioning system as they are not designed to support a person while working.
They can be used where workers are required to carry out their work near an unprotected edge.
Generally the arrangement allows for the worker to maintain a stable position and to work hands-free while completing a task.
The manufacturer and designer should ensure that each permanent anchor is uniquely identified so that its installation, testing and maintenance can be tracked during its lifetime. They are also reliant on the condition and strength of the material they are installed into. Persons not trained should be inducted by the system installer or other qualified persons before they are permitted to use the system.
Energy-absorbing lanyards should not be used in conjunction with inertia reels as this can result in an excessive distance of fall prior to the fall being arrested. The user should work within an arc of up to 30 degrees below the inertia reel unless otherwise specified by the manufacturer. This is a condition in which blood pooling in the legs can lead to loss of consciousness, renal failure and, in extreme cases, death. These systems usually include shock-absorbing components that reduce the end anchor loadings of the lifeline.
These are not as common as proprietary systems but will accommodate most fall arrest systems.
The SARNZ Best Practice Guidelines for Scaffolding provides further information on this type of temporary work platform. Where the work platform does not have any guardrail system it should be restricted to low-level use, for example, a hop-up platform or a step platform on a stepladder. Trestles without a guardrail system should only be used when the duty holder’s hazard management systems show that the likelihood of a person falling and injuring themselves is low and the work is of short duration. The step platform is more stable and provides a much larger work surface than the stepladder. Stilts should be properly maintained between uses according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Only workers competent in the use of a particular type of stilt may be permitted to use them.
The span between supports should not exceed the recommended specifications of the SARNZ Best Practise Guidelines for Scaffolding in New Zealand.
Most SLSs have been designed for use principally inside a building where the bags will be enclosed by walls or partitions. They are lightweight and rot-resistant, but they can be easily damaged by improper use, wear and tear, heat or flame, handling, or storage. The user should maintain three points of contact with a ladder or stepladder to reduce the likelihood of slipping and falling. It is advisable to have another person to secure the ladder at the bottom while this is achieved. The chart identifies a range of controls to prevent harm that should be considered for each issue. It is essential that a full hazard assessment is carried out prior to any activities involving work at height. Obtain written confirmation from the person who disconnected the power to verify which work areas are isolated from power and which areas are not.
There are a number of Regulations, Codes of Practice and industry best practice guidance documents that support the HSE Act.
Codes of practice, guidelines and other guidance material endorsed by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment are considered best practice.
This responsibility extends to any contractor or subcontractor who is a self-employed individual. In effect, employees have a responsibility to follow the safe work procedures that have been put in place by their employer. A self-employed person is responsible for undertaking relevant training and having the capability to safely complete their work. Where there are 30 or more employees, or where an employee or union representing employees requests it, the employer must develop, implement and maintain a system of employee participation in health and safety. The HSE Act sets out duties which are supplemented by regulations, approved codes of practice and guidelines.
Their requirements are not mandatory or enforceable, but their observance is accepted in court as evidence of good practice. The cost of providing safeguards has to be measured against the consequences of failing to do so. Duty holders must do what is “reasonable” which means what a reasonable and prudent person would do in the same situation. It should be at least two metres away from a height hazard and the roof slope is less than 10 degrees. If a worker is suspended in a personal fall-arrest system, you must provide for a prompt rescue.
Think about seasonal and environmental conditions and how they may affect rescue equipment and those who use it. Determine how the procedures could be changed to prevent similar events; revise the procedures accordingly.
The auger had stopped moving corn indicating there was a blockage at the auger intake inside the bin.
He tried to assist his co-worker to get out but struggled to save himself from being pulled down as well. There was a side door at the bottom of the bin, but it was still under corn and not used during rescue.
To ensure a fallen worker receives prompt attention, your emergency-response plan should include all of the following, EXCEPT _____. All 911 emergency responders are trained to rescue a worker suspended in a personal fall-arrest system. And every year, firefighters die trying to rescue workers from these manholes, sewers, tanks, silos and pits. If the owner and mission company is going to commit to the confined space operation, they need a complete assessment and have every variable covered.
The database can be found online and provides details on all the companies and can be searched by industry, company and key employees. The best work methods are those that don’t require any active judgement by the workers to keep themselves safe, such as edge protection, scaffold, and elevating work platforms. Construction must take into account the forces that are likely to be applied to the edge protection as a result of the work undertaken. Knuckle booms should be used and maintained in accordance with the Approved Code of Practice for Power- Operated Elevating Work Platforms. Where a proprietary temporary system is used, it shall be installed in accordance with the manufacturer’s or designer’s instructions and specifications. They should also be supervised at all times by another person who is also trained and competent. Never work above the anchor point, as this will increase the free-fall distance in the event of a fall, resulting in higher forces on the body and greater likelihood of the arrest line snagging on obstructions. If used outside on soft ground, sole boards should be used to ensure the podium platform is stable. They should not be used on scaffolding or other equipment that might be used to elevate the worker. In the case of timber, maximum working load will be as for light-duty loading outlined in the SARNZ Best Practise Guidelines for Scaffolding in New Zealand. They can also be adversely affected by weathering, UV degradation and environmental factors resulting in some strength loss. The hierarchy of controls must be applied when determining the control or range of controls that are appropriate for the work to be undertaken. Use a safety observer (this is particularly relevant if MEWPs are used, as the operator may become spatially disoriented and the work involves frequent movement or relocation). This can be done by delegating health and safety responsibilities to staff, analysing job safety, holding toolbox meetings and electing health and safety representatives. Codes of practice are developed through collaboration between the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and industry.
It is not simply a measure of whether the person can afford to provide the necessary safeguards. It is an objective standard determined by the standards and practices of the industry and society generally. Most workers enter confined spaces with the expectation that they will be rescued if something goes wrong.
Even a minimal response time is too late; any delay in transport is a forgone conclusion that the rescue will have a 80% failure.
More information about Notification of Particular Hazardous Work can be found in section 8.6.
The maximum width of the platform width is 1200 mm wide and is covered in the general principles of light-duty platforms from the SARNZ Best Practise Guidelines for Scaffolding in New Zealand. It is therefore essential that safety nets are subject to regular examinations by a competent person and are periodically tested in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. In all cases, elimination controls shall be considered ahead of isolation controls, and minimisation controls shall only be adopted when neither elimination nor isolation are practicable. Where there is a risk of serious or frequent injury or harm, a greater cost in the provision of safeguards may be reasonable. But if a crew’s only rescue plan is to call 9-1-1 in the event of a problem, that rescue may not be possible. When reading the column, I was already ensure if the entire team actually knew for sure a permit was approved, or did they just take it for granted from a supervisor that it was! These and other details must be acknowledged by all concerned because lives are held by each member. Going the next step to have a rescue team and a secondary way to extract a person needs to be on hand. A 100-pound victim is a struggle for two men, especially if you are trying to lower that victim out of second story window. You are not going to pull a limp adult around, over and through entrapments with a rope, even using a winch.
You have only 4-6 minutes to provide oxygen to worker’s brain tissue before they start losing function. Hands-only CPR has increased survivability rates, but you have to be able to get to the victim to start compressions. More likely than not, if a person is not breathing, we are not going to get to the scene and affect a rescue in time to save the victim without violating OSHA law and putting our own lives at risk. So what would ever give the public the idea that we weren’t ready, willing and able to save you from a legitimate emergency like a confined space incident?
Have you ever received a call at the station from a local entity to inform you that they are making a confined space entry?



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Rubric: Canada Emergency Preparedness



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