Frequently Asked Questions
The WAHA encourages the exchange of technical knowledge and when a question is asked it allows further research into industry issues based on cooperation and collaboration with related industries and professions.
If you have a question that isn’t listed in our FAQ, you can contact us.
Work at Height
It is the strong recommendation of the WAHA that re-certification of the RIIWHS204E Work Safely at Heights course should be undertaken every 2 years.
The frequency of inspection will vary depending on the equipment type. The WAHA provides guidance materials on equipment inspections in its technical bulletins here, however reference to ASNZS 1891.4 provides the recommended inspection frequencies of different types of equipment.
Yes – as per ASNZS 1891.4 §9.3.3 “The parent structure shall also be visually inspected for modifications or deterioration which might lead to loss of anchorage strength.”
The definition of a Competent Person is ‘A person who has, through a combination of training, qualification and experience, acquired knowledge and skills enabling that person to correctly perform a specified task.’.
Working at height is defined as a where a worker has:
A risk of a fall from one level to another that is reasonably likely to cause injury to the worker or another person.
A fall may occur when a worker is working at height. Additionally, a fall may occur from one elevated level to another, from an elevated level to the ground, or from the ground into a below-ground level or opening, such as a trench or a pit.
Falls that result from a slip (when a person’s foot loses traction with a surface) or trip (when a person’s foot catches on an object) but which occur at the same level are not considered to have occurred while working at height. Falls up or down stairs are also considered to be slips or trips.
ASNZS 1891.3:2020 directly refers to the international Standards EN 360 (Europe) and ANSI Z359 (North America) as suitable alternatives to a formal ASNZS approved product. Therefore there is no requirement for an AS/NZS marking on these devices, but they must reference one of the alternatives.
Please note that there are specific requirements for the UV Testing of webbing under AS/NZS 1891 which will directly relate to a webbing SRL or PFL. This testing should be done as an addition to the other performance and engineering testing carried out under the EN or ANSI Standard. Please contact the manufacturer for further guidance on these criteria.
SafeWork Australia collates all the statistics relating to workplace incidents and provide a breakdown by industry and mechanism of injury over a twelve-month period. WAHA uses this data in assessing the impacts of changes in legislation and safety culture as a success metric.
Working in what could be considered a “safe zone”, 2 metres from a leading edge, without PPE could be exposing operators to unnecessary risk. A Safe Work Method Statement (SWMS) should be used to identify any key hazards, but there needs to be accounting for the nature of the roof structure (materials), slope of the roof, skylights and the access route to the “safe work” area. Transitioning from a ladder across the 2m without connection into a safety system is not acceptable, so there needs to be a clear procedure to ensure workers remain safe throughout the work task.
Complicated terminology and varied definitions often confuse the difference between laws, regulations, and standards. Knowing what each is and how they interact is crucial to understanding the critical role standards play in the cannabis industry today.
In general, legislative bodies pass laws, government agencies develop regulations to implement the laws, and development agencies create and approve accredited standards.
Standards make things work by providing specifications (guidelines or requirements) for products, services and systems. If used consistently, they ensure quality, safety and efficiency. They may take the form of a Reference Document that provides details about the criteria involved.
Detailed instructions on how laws are to be enforced or carried out and are sometimes referred to as “rules” or “administrative laws.” They carry the force of law – their application is mandatory.
The system of rules, or statutes made by the government (Federal or State). Statutes are enacted by legislative body, then signed by the ranking official
Codes of Practice
The Codes of Practice include practical guides for meeting the standards that are set in the Regulations and overall Act. Basically, the Act is the legislation that includes the initial set of laws introduced to the Parliament. The Regulations are details for complying with the laws, whereas the Codes of Practice is a practical guide on how to comply with the legal duties under the Work Health and Safety Act and Regulations. They are a set of rules that serve as generally accepted guidelines recommended for the industry to follow.
Industry Codes of Practice
Industry Codes are designed to be applied in conjunction with Standards to provide guidance and clarification around the application of said Standards. They are compiled with input from Regulators, Manufacturers, Industry Associations, and subject matter experts and take into consideration the actual variables and practicalities for applying the Standards in an operational environment.
WAHA is the peak body in Australia for all matters Working at Height and Confined Space. Our Leadership Team and board represent all sectors of the working at height community and contribute to the WAHA resource library. We also have our members page which can direct you to WAHA Members in your area who can provide guidance and consultancy services.
Industry type doesn’t matter. If there is a clearly defined risk that a worker could potentially fall from one level to another, then there needs to be a proper safety assessment performed and measures implanted. If you are unsure, please reach out to one of our WAHA Members in your area or contact WAHA directly.
The Hierarchy of Controls for Working at Height has been designed to help determine the most appropriate control measure to reduce or eliminate the risk of a fall. Hierarchy of hazard control is a system used broadly in industry to minimise or eliminate exposure to hazards. This concept is utilised in industry, to be promoted as standard practice in the workplace – hence the reason it is frequently referred to in these documents as well as workplace health and safety programs across Australia/New Zealand.
It is the strong recommendation of the WAHA that re-certification of the RIIWHS202E Enter and work in Confined Spaces course should be undertaken every 2 years. Any additional units of competency held in Confined Spaces (Such as Gas Test Atmospheres or Confined Space Rescue) should also be re-validated every 2 years.
One in which a flammable gas, vapour or mist is likely to exceed 5% of its lower explosive limit (LEL).
19.5% – 23.5%
No. The standby person must remain outside the confined space and monitor conditions inside unless relieved.
Hold a current qualification to enter (and work) in a confined space.
Avoid the risk – by not working in the confined space where reasonably practicable.
Minimise the risk – where it is not reasonably practicable to avoid working in the confined space, implement controls (prioritised in accordance with the hierarchy of controls) to minimise the risk as far as is reasonably practicable.
Entry is considered to have occurred when a person’s head or upper body enters the space. A space may become a confined space if work that is to be carried out in the space would generate harmful concentrations of airborne contaminants.
Yes. This is a routine part of determining appropriate risk controls. The testing is carried out by a competent person using a suitable, correctly calibrated gas detector.
Initial testing should be done from outside the confined space by inserting a sample probe at appropriate selected access holes, nozzles and openings and at different levels, the top, middle and bottom, as some gases are heavier than air.
The entry permit is a checklist to ensure that all elements of a safe system of work are in place before people are allowed to enter the confined space.
It also provides:
- a means of communication between site management, supervisors and those carrying out the work; and
- authorisation for entry to the confined space is safe to proceed.
In accordance with WHS Legislation a worker is not allowed to enter a confined space unless a completed and signed confined space entry permit is issued by a competent person and in writing.
An entry permit is to be issued for each entry.
The written permit authority is to be displayed/available in a prominent place (e.g. adjacent to the confined space).
In accordance with the WHS Regulations (Section 67), the entry permit must include:
- the confined space to which the permit relates;
- the names of persons permitted to enter the space;
- the period of time during which the work in the space will be carried out;
- measures to control risk associated with the proposed work in the space; and
- contain space for an acknowledgement that work in the confined space has been completed and that all persons have left the confined space.
Confined spaces should at all times be secured against unauthorised entry and, where practicable, permanently signposted.
Before any work in relation to a confined space starts, signs must be erected at each entrance to the confined space to prevent and warn other persons, not involved in the work, and against entry. This includes when preparing to work in the space, during work in the space and when packing up on completion of the work.
Signposting alone should not be relied on to prevent unauthorised entry to a potential confined space. Security devices, for example locks and fixed barriers, should be installed.
The following kinds of workplaces are also generally not confined spaces:
- a mine shaft or the workings of a mine
- places intended for human occupancy
- some enclosed or partially enclosed spaces that have harmful airborne contaminants but are designed for a person to occupy, for example abrasive blasting or spray-painting booths
- enclosed or partially enclosed spaces that are designed to be occasionally occupied by a person for example, a fumigated shipping container or a cool store.
There are many legislative requirements that are applied to confined spaces.
There are a number of tasks that can be completed in a confined space. Examples include:
- Cleaning or maintenance
- Repair work (including tasks such as welding or cutting)
- Painting, sandblasting or applying surface coatings
- Installing, inspecting or repairing fittings / pipes / cables
- Inspection of plant or equipment
- Construction or modification of a confined space