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Safe Work Method Statement (SWMS) - Working at Heights

  • Scope: This SWMS covers tasks involving working at heights, including but not limited to, roof work, scaffolding erection, ladder use, and elevated platform operations.

  • Hazards Identification:

    • Falling from height: Risk of serious injury or fatality due to falls from elevated surfaces.
    • Falling objects: Objects dropped from height pose a risk to workers below.
    • Structural integrity: Potential collapse or failure of structures such as scaffolding or ladders.
    • Weather conditions: Adverse weather conditions such as wind or rain can increase the risk of accidents.
  • Risk Assessment:

    • Assess the height of the work area and potential fall distances.
    • Identify hazards such as unstable surfaces, inadequate edge protection, and unprotected openings.
    • Evaluate the weather conditions and their impact on safety.
    • Consider the competency and training of workers involved in working at heights tasks.
  • Control Measures:

    • Use of fall prevention systems such as guardrails, edge protection, or safety harnesses.
    • Regular inspection and maintenance of equipment and structures used for working at heights.
    • Safe access and egress routes established and maintained.
    • Adequate training and supervision provided to workers involved in working at heights tasks.
    • Use of signage to warn of hazards and remind workers of safety procedures.
  • Emergency Procedures:

    • In the event of a fall, workers should be trained in the use of fall arrest systems and rescue procedures.
    • Emergency response plan should be in place, including procedures for notifying emergency services and providing first aid.
  • Monitoring and Review:

    • Regular monitoring of compliance with safety procedures and control measures.
    • Review of incidents and near misses to identify areas for improvement.
    • Periodic review of the SWMS to ensure it remains relevant and effective.
  • Responsibilities:

    • Management: Responsible for providing necessary resources, training, and supervision.
    • Supervisors: Responsible for ensuring that safe work practices are followed and hazards are addressed.
    • Workers: Responsible for following safety procedures, using provided equipment correctly, and reporting hazards or incidents.
  • References:

    • Relevant WHS legislation and regulations.
    • Manufacturer's instructions for equipment and tools used for working at heights.
    • Industry codes of practice and guidance materials.

This SWMS is to be reviewed and revised as necessary to ensure it remains relevant and effective. All workers involved in working at heights tasks must be familiar with and follow the procedures outlined in this document.


  • The Policy is provided in Word Format for easy contextualisation and adding information.

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