Height Safety Training Courses

Just because an RTO trains a person and then issues them a certificate of competence in a height safety following successful course completion, this does not always mean their course is necessarily of excellent quality. Whilst ASQA generally oversees the quality systems of a training organisation. they do not perform a quality ‘test’ or assessment over the content of one course provided by an RTO, as the competency guidelines are simply too wide to evaluate.

For this reason, the WAHA has developed guidelines for RTOs to ensure they are offering minimum training content and practical assessments. This content is shown below:


RIIWHS204E Work Safely at Heights

1. Legislation

1.1 Identify relevant legislation, standards and codes of practice applicable to height safety and fall protection.

2. Risk Assessment

2.1 Describe the hazards associated with falling.

2.2 Principles of hazard identification and the risk assessment matrix.

2.3 Principles and operation of the Hierarchy of Control

2.4 Risks associated with falling objects

3. Introduction to height safety equipment

3.1  Anchorage – strength and ratings, slings and angles

3.2 Full body harness – selection / inspection / correct fitting

3.3 Connectors – karabiners / millions / snap hooks / scaffold hooks

3.4 Restraint Lines – safe use / limitations (including incorrect adjustment) / angles / anchor strengths / using a shock absorber

3.5 Lanyards – Single / twin / adjustable – include shock absorber and forces on the body

3.6 Self Retracting Lifelines (SRL’s) – safe use and inspection

3.7 User / Operator – criteria for inspection of equipment

4. Fall Clearances

4.1 Discuss fall clearance from Australian Standards – lanyards and SRL’s

4.2 Dealing with adequate fall clearances

4.3 Forces in falls

4.4 Pendulum effect

4.5 Obstructions

5. Importance of Rescue Planning

5.1 Legislative requirements for rescue

5.2 Suspension intolerance

5.3 The requirement for peer rescue


Training on Elements 1 and 2 – Theory and Practical Exercises for the Basic Safe Working at Height Course – including student examination – should take a minimum of 8 hours.

The WAHA strongly recommends a ratio of students to trainers should be no greater than 12 to 1 as the ability to assess practical competence of each person will otherwise be compromised.


Whilst a certificate of competence issued by an RTO for a nationally recognised competency technically never expires, it is the strong recommendation of the WAHA that re-certification of a Safe Work at Height Training course should be undertaken every 2 years.