Work Safely at Heights Refresher – RIIWHS204D

VS&R Training offer a Work Safely at Heights Training Course that is perfect for employers, supervisors & any person working at height. Eg tradesmen, construction & tower workers. It is a legal requirement for anyone using a fall arrest device to be trained.

This course is conducted on the same day as the Work Safely at Heights course. Please click here to go to that page to view dates and book in.

Book now by booking a spot online or by calling 0412 291 054 and talking to the friendly VS&R team.

Do you have any learning difficulties e.g. Literacy or Numeracy? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions – click here

SKU: RIIWHS204D Category:


What is Refresher Training?

New national WHS Act 2012, requires employers conduct due diligence and gives them an obligation to ensure each individual has ‘current competency’ in whatever they are doing.

The term ‘employers’ are now referred under the Act as ‘Persons Conducting a Business or Undertaking’ (PCBU) and ‘employees’ as ‘workers’.

Regulations require PCBU’s to ensure competency of the operator when plant is used, so far as is reasonably practicable. Employers should take their responsibilities very seriously, and should require workers to demonstrate competency in the tasks they are to perform on the PCBU’s site. This also holds for contractors and their employees operating plant and conducting high risk work. Verification of Competency is also often extended to other high risk tasks like ‘Working at Heights’ & ‘Confined Space Entry’.

Today all workers who are required to work at height or enter a confined space must have completed an appropriate VET training course, and be issued with national units of competency via a Statement of Attainment. It is a PCBU’s responsibility to ensure that the person doing the work is current in their skills. So the mere fact a worker holds an appropriate Statement of Attainment does not always meet this requirement. Generally, on most sites across Australia, a worker is not deemed current if their units of competency were issued more than 2 to 3 years ago. It could also be that the employer wishes to ensure their “Duty of Care” with a new employee by obtaining refresher training.

Refresher Training and Assessing for Verification of Competency enables businesses to confirm that their employees are competent in their skills and using equipment. It is commonly used in many industries for pre-employment checks, contractual arrangements or site requirements. No longer is just holding a ticket or qualification enough for a PCBU to believe an individual is competent.

Requests for refresher training are becoming more common. VS & R Training Assessors are industry experts holding all relevant qualifications combined with years of experience. Be aware that we do conduct each monthly Refresher Courses in Confined Space & Work Safely at Heights courses for personnel who may have those units of competency, but they are greater than two years old.

Working at Height

Whenever there is a risk of a fall from one level to another that is reasonably likely to cause injury to the person or any other person.

Note: there is no mention of a specific height before the PCBU needs to act: this is because the old 2m rule did not take into account what happened during the fall or at the end of the fall where serious & fatal injuries were still happening

What it means: the PCBU should do a risk assessment of the workplace wherever there is a change from one level to another and then eliminate or control the fall risk.

The PCBU should eliminate or control the 3 things that can fall:

  1. People
  2. Tools
  3. Materials
Use the height hierarchy of control, in order

  1. Work from the ground
  2. Work on a solid construction
  3. Use a fall protection device
  4. Use fall restraint
  5. Use fall arrest
  6. Use a ladder

plus step back, look at the whole situation and do a risk assessment in consultation, using authoritive information to help you.

Fall risks should be eliminated to the ‘lowest practicable level’

which is determined by:

  1. What you know, or ought to know, about the fall risks
  2. The probability of the fall occurring
  3. The consequence, if the fall occurred
  4. What you know, or ought to know, about best practice fall elimination & control methods
  5. The availability & suitably of fall elimination & control methods
  6. The cost of eliminating or controlling the fall risks is irrelevant unless hugely disproportional
Information that helps with the risk assessment. The main authoritive information for most things are the WHS Regulations, Codes of Practice & Australian Standards. See the Code of practice for ‘Managing the Risk of Falls at Workplaces’

Other examples are:

  • SafetWork NSW safety alerts put on their website
  • manufacturers manuals
  • generic Safe Work Method Statements from industry bodies
  • consultation with competent people
  • your inspection of the height job
  • your previous experience
A competent person, in consultation, should identify all reasonably foreseeable hazards ‘whenever there is a risk of a fall from one level to another that is reasonably likely to cause injury to the person or any other person’.

Then for each hazard, work out the probability of it occurring and the consequence of it occurring; that is, the risk level of each fall hazard.

When assessing the risks arising from each fall hazard, the following should be considered:

  1. the design and layout of elevated work areas, including the distance of a potential fall
  2. the number and movement of all people at the workplace
  3. the proximity of workers to unsafe areas where loads are placed on elevated working areas (for example, loading docks) and where work is to be carried out above people and there is a risk of falling objects
  4. the adequacy of inspection and maintenance of plant and equipment (for example, scaffolding)
  5. the adequacy of lighting for clear vision
  6. weather conditions—the presence of rain, wind, extreme heat or cold can cause slippery or unstable conditions
  7. the suitability of footwear and clothing for the conditions
  8. the suitability and condition of ladders, including where and how they are being used
  9. the adequacy of current knowledge and training to perform the task safely (for example, young, new or inexperienced workers may be unfamiliar with a task)
  10. the adequacy of procedures for all potential emergency situations.

Your fall hazards will then come to be high, medium or low.

You then eliminate or control the fall risks to a low level, starting with the highest first