The Insider Article – Head For Heights
By Ashley Thacker
When working at height, it is important to be properly trained and consult the experts.
I was talking to height safety expert James Moule, of LINQ Height Safety, recently. Our conversation was two-sided in that much of it was positive about the progress the Australian industry has made in height safety in recent years but we agreed that there is still a long way to go before we can say as a nation, we are fully safe at height.
First, the good news.
As James has detected over a 20-plus year career in height safety, there is now much wider acceptance about fall protection and fall prevention solutions. In other words, a much larger percentage of people are using safety equipment on jobsites when they are working at height. This has happened at the same time as the evolution of height safety equipment. Modern work at height gear is more efficient, more comfortable to wear, easier to use, and generally more available. It has created an environment where it is easier to be safe.
It’s also true that the Australian Standard 1891 is widely trusted and accepted by those who need to understand it. The recently-updated documentation covers all the important detail about manufacture, testing, inspection, use, maintenance, and so on. As a result, most end users recognise the importance of receiving competence-based training before they even think about working at height.
For the full interview and Moule’s insights click here or see below.
Relevant Height Safety Australia Standards
It’s important to note, as of August 2020, there were three new standards from Standards Australia, representing separation of the document AS/NZS 1891.1:2007 into three standalone documents:
- 1891.3:2020 Personal equipment for work at height; manufacturing requirements for fall-arrest devices.
- 1891.1:2020 Personal equipment for work at height; manufacturing requirements for full body combination and lower body harnesses.
- 1891.5:2020 Personal equipment for work at height; manufacturing requirements for lanyard assemblies and pole straps.
AS/NZS 1891.5 (2020) separates out lanyard assembly and pole strap requirements from harnesses (previously under one standard). The purpose is to document specific requirements for the materials, design, manufacture, testing and labelling of lanyard assemblies and pole straps.