Important Standards when conducting work at heights

What are Standards?

Standards are published documents that give guidelines to ensure safety, performance and reliability of goods, services and systems. They specify the requirements that these goods, services and systems must meet in order for them to conform.

There are Australian and International Standards, as well as Standards developed by professional industry associations. For more details view Safework Australia's Australian Standards Information Sheet.

Standards are not laws, however if there is a specific law that states that a Standard must comply with it then it is a legal requirement that you conform to it.

Additionally, it is important to note that Standards are quite often a relevant factor in court proceedings. Given that Standards set out guidelines for safety, performance and reliability, the court may take into account whether it was "reasonably practicable" for the person to conform to the Standard.

Hierarchy of Legislation for Safe Working at Height

Height safety equipment and working at heights practices are governed by the below Standards.

  • AS 1657:2018 Fixed Platforms, Walkways, Stairways and Ladders
  • AS/NZS 1891.1 Part 1: Safety Belts and Harnesses
  • AS/NZS 1891.2 Part 2: Horizontal Lifeline and Rail Systems
  • AS/NZS 1891:3 Part 3: Fall Arrest Devices
  • AS/NZS 1891.4 Part 4: Selection, Use and Maintenance of Industrial Fall Arrest Systems and Devices
  • AS2625 Safe Working in a Confined Space
  • AS/NZS ISO 22846 Industrial Rope Access Systems
  • AS/NZS 5532 Manufacturers requirements for single point anchors

Clarification of AS/NZS 5532 - CLICK HERE to find out more ...

Copies of the above Standards can be obtained from SIA Global.

Are you and your buildings meeting statutory requirements? Take a Height Safety Risk Calculator and find out now.

To find your relevant industry and territory regulatory body go to the website links at the bottom of our Industry Information page.

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