Legislation – Acts, Regulations, Standards & Codes Of Practice


The height safety industry like all business sectors must comply with the Work Health & Safety Act 2011 and the Work Health & Safety Regulation 2011. These two documents set out the duties and responsibilities which all businesses must comply with. There are severe penalties for failing to comply with a duty. These Duties also encompass when working at heights. Many companies may think this does not apply to them, as their actual business may not have any height safety work. For example, Jill owns a takeaway shop. None of her staff work at heights. However, she has an air conditioning company service her units every 3 months. Those units are located on the roof. Under the Act she has a Duty to ensure that the service company employees can safely access those units. This Duty is shared with the air conditioning company she contracts to complete the serving. This may seem confusing. But it is designed to ensure that all workplaces are a safe place to work. For more information on your duties under the Act and Regulation click here.

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The Managing the Risk of falls at Workplaces Code of Practice 2011 was produced to give advice and guidelines on how to manage the risks of falls in the workplace when working at heights. While the Code itself is not enforceable by any penalties, it gives guidelines which should be followed. For example, if there was a fall at your workplace, Workplace Health & Safety Officers from the Department of Justice would investigate the accident and may use the Code as a reference of what you should have done to prevent the incident. If it can be shown that by following the Code the incident may not have occurred or the injury not as severe, then it may be found that you have breached your Primary Duty under the Work Health & Safety Act by not doing “all that was reasonably practicable”. This is then an offence under the Act and penalties can apply. That is why during the design of any height safety system we will use the Code as one of our references to ensure safety. For more information on the Code and how you can keep your workers safe when working at heights please contact us via our contact page and speak to one of our Height Safety Specialists.


There are many Standards which may be applied to working at heights. However the main Standards are;

  • AS1657:2018
  • AS1891 series
  • AS4488
  • AS5532

The Standards like the Code are not directly enforceable. However non-compliance to a Standard could be considered a breach of Duty under the Act which is enforceable. The Standards should always be complied with where practicable. If for a legitimate reason the Standard cannot be complied with then another solution must be found which is considered to provide at least the same level of protection and safety as the Standard or higher. For more information please contact one of our Height Safety Specialists.

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