5 Myths About Fall Protection Systems

Building Owner – ”..any subcontractors who work on the roofs of my building are not my responsibility…”

It is the building owners responsibility to ensure the safety of any workers, employees and subcontractors, where “reasonable practicable” in order to carry out associated work on the building, including working at heights.

All subcontractors on-site are fully trained and competent.

You must never assume that all personnel are trained and competent in using fall protection equipment. Confirm the operators working on your site are trained and prepared for work. Different systems and PPE require product familiarity, provide that training if necessary and ensure inexperienced workers are supervised at all times.

As the designer, is there a requirement to specify compliant fall protection systems?

An architect, engineer or building design professional who works on the technical design of buildings has an obligation under Section 22 of the WHS Act 2011.

This Act states that there is a requirement to ensure the design and lay-out of the building does pose risks to people working in, around or accessing areas around the building or structure.

“We have existing Fall Protection systems so do not need to worry…”

It is not as simple as having a system installed. Does the design meet the access needs of the building? The systems also require proper and regular checking, maintaining and recertification to ensure a safe work environment,

Always refer to the manufacturer’s recommendations with regards maintenance and recertification requirements.

“We rarely access the roof so it’s not worth spending the money on a system….”

Regardless of frequency of use, there is still a duty of care to provide safe access for anyone requiring to do so.

It’s a high risk environment, and putting a dollar value on safety and a potential life lost is even more risky and the potential costs much higher.