As an employer, you have a general duty to make your workplace safe. This includes controlling the risk of falls. Legislative obligations apply to the risk of falls below two metres. If there is a risk of a fall of more than two metres, specific duties apply.
You must identify any task where a person may fall more than two metres.
If it is reasonably practicable, you must eliminate the risk by doing the work on the ground or on a solid construction.
If this is not practicable, you must control the risk using the following measures in order of priority:
- use a passive fall prevention device
- use a work positioning system to ensure employees work within a safe area
- use a fall arrest system to limit the risk of injuries in the event of a fall
- use a fixed or portable ladder, or implement an administrative control
If you use a control measure other than working on the ground or on a solid construction, you must establish emergency procedures covering the rescue of an employee in the event of a fall and provision of first aid.
Any equipment of materials used to control the risk of a fall must be designed and constructed for the task and the conditions it will be used in.
Likewise, fixed or portable ladders must be suitable for the task and set up properly.
If you are using only an administrative control, you must record what it is and the task for which it is being used.
You must review (and, where necessary, revise) your risk controls if things change or at the request of a health and safety representative.
Employers also have a duty to consult employees and health and safety representatives when identifying hazards and deciding on control measures. For more information, see consultation.
If your worker has a work-related injury or illness, you have duties under the Victorian workers compensation legislation, one of which is to ensure their safe return to work. The employer's obligations include: