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Hierarchy of Control Measures: Working at Height Cheat Sheet (DRAFT) by [deleted]

Hierarchy of Control Measures: Working at Height

This is a draft cheat sheet. It is a work in progress and is not finished yet.


The Work at Height Regula­tions 2005 were instated to help prevent death and serious injury when working at height. These working at height regula­tions apply to everyone who controls work at height, and must be followed so that all health and safety standards are complied with.

Helping to regulate work at height are the Hierarchy of Control Measures, which consists of eight levels

Level 1: Avoiding Work at Height

Work at height should be avoided whenever possible, with any constr­uction done from the ground through the use of extension tools. Ladders are to be avoided, so as to conduct work at ground level. This method also helps to prevent workers from being on fragile surfaces.

Level 2: Prevention Through the Existing Workplace

When work at height is unavoi­dable, it is preferable to prevent issues from happening rather than minimising their conseq­uences. Utilising spaces that are already conducive for fall prevention is preferred, so as to ensure there is no risk of falling.

Level 3: Prevention Through Collective Equipment

Collective fall protection units, for example, are equipment to be used when a safe workplace is unavai­lable for work at height. Collective equipment is, therefore, utilised for fall prevention to ensure all workers are safe from injury or fall.

Level 4: Preventing Falls Through PPE

Personal Protective Equipment, or PPE, involves the use of equipment such as safety harnesses to prevent a fall. This level pertains to the restri­ction of movement so as to ensure workers are safe and don’t fall.

Level 5: Minimize Distance w/Coll­ective Equipment

In situations in which prevention isn’t possible, the hierarchy of control introduces measures to minimise any potential conseq­uence of a fall. Equipment such as safety netting is utilised under the working area in order to reduce the distance workers can fall from.

Hiearchy of Control

Level 6: Minimising Distance Through PPE

With personal protective equipment, workers ensure that the potential fall distance is minimised. Fall arrest harnesses are commonly used in situations In which it is approp­riate, as they are less effective at heights of 4m or less.

Level 7: Minimising Conseq­uences w/Equi­pment

Safety netting, for example, is utilised in order to reduce the impact of a fall and not to reduce the distance of a fall. As the prevention of work at height is the most important in the hierarchy due to being safer, these methods of minimising conseq­uences through collective equipment aren’t as advised.

Level 8: Minimising Conseq­uences with Training

Minimising Conseq­uences Instru­ction & Training.

The last level in the hierarchy, the mitigation of fall conseq­uences through training and instru­ction involves ensuring all workers are aware of all risks before commencing work. Workers need to be educated on how to properly assemble any equipment and to know all safety guidelines for working at height.