Date last updated

Wednesday 19 Dec 2018

Industries and topics

Construction
Fall prevention

The Prevention of falls in general construction compliance code, 2018 was published on 11 October 2018. It replaces the Prevention of falls in general construction compliance code, 2008. The new code is based on the old code and is designed to:

  • be easy to read and use
  • align with the Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2017 (OHS Regulations)
  • reflect modern work practices and state of knowledge
  • align with other updated compliance codes

New content

Some new content has been added, particularly in relation to:

  • the risk management process

Reference and style changes

The new code includes some standard updates:

  • New references to relevant legislation when legal duties apply.
  • Additional cross-references to make related information easier to find in the code.
  • Information about Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 (OHS Act) duties as well as OHS Regulations duties.

How to use this guide

The differences between the old and new codes are outlined in the following sections.

The sections reflect the new layout for the codes. Under each section is a short summary of the key changes and under this summary is a table that lists the headings of the old and new code for ease of comparison.

Part 1 – Introduction

What has changed

The key changes include:

  • Information about duty holders has been expanded in Part 1 of the new code to incorporate the former section 'What do the OHS Regulations require?' This section now sets out all duty holders' primary duties under the OHS Act and the OHS Regulations, with references to the specific legislation that applies.
  • New information about the risk management process has been included in Part 1 of the new code.
  • The consultation section has been broadened and moved to appear later in the Part, and incorporate information that previously appeared in Appendix B. This section now thoroughly sets out an employer's legal duties to conduct consultation with employees and Health and Safety Representatives (HSRs) on matters of health or safety.
  • The section on information, instruction, training and supervision that previously appeared in Part 2 of the old code has been moved to the end of Part 1of the new code, including requirements for construction induction and site induction.
Compliance code 2008 Compliance code 2018
  • purpose
  • scope
  • application
  • consultation
  • duty holder responsibilities
  • managers and controllers of workplaces
  • employers
  • self-employed persons
  • employees
  • designers of buildings or structures
  • designers, manufacturers and suppliers of plant
  • installers, erectors and commissioners of plant
  • what do the OHS Regulations require?
  • purpose
  • scope
  • application
  • who has duties?
  • the risk management process
  • consultation
  • information, instruction, training and/or supervision
  • construction induction training
  • site induction

Part 2 – Overview of the risk management process

What has changed

The key changes include:

  • a new breakout box has been included in Part 2 of the new code to remind employers of their duties to consult with employees and HSRs on health or safety matters
  • new paragraphs have been included throughout the Part to set out the OHS Act duties that apply to manage the risk of falls from two metres or less
  • examples of control measures under the hierarchy of control are set out in a new table, and the order of level 2 control examples has been revised so that guardrailing and safety mesh appears above elevating work platforms, mast climbing work platforms, work boxes and step platforms
  • new information about an employer's duty to maintain risk controls and establish emergency procedures has been included.
Compliance code 2008 Compliance code 2018
  • managing risks to prevent falls
  • identifying fall hazards
  • assessing the risk of a fall
  • controlling the risks
  • other risk control considerations
  • make sure control measures are safe and don't introduce new risks
  • personal protective equipment
  • monitoring and review of control measures
  • information, instruction and training
  • identifying hazards
  • assessing the risks
  • controlling the risks
  • the hierarchy of control
  • personal protective equipment
  • operator skill
  • maintaining risk controls
  • review and revision of risk controls
  • consider whether fall protection measures introduce new risks
  • establish emergency procedures

Part 3 – Working at heights above two metres

What has changed

The key changes include:

  • The information previously in Part 4 of the old code, about working at heights above two metres, now appears in Part 3 of the new code.
  • A new breakout box has been included to remind employers of their duties to consult with employees and HSRs on health or safety matters.
  • Information about safe work method statements has been expanded.
  • New information about high risk work licences has been included.
  • Throughout each level of the hierarchy of control, the relevant duties and definitions have been included, to ensure the legislative requirements that apply are clear.
  • New sections within the hierarchy of control include 'Covers over trenches' (level 2 controls) and 'Industrial safety nets' (level 4 controls).
  • The order of information about level 2 controls has been amended so that specific controls appear in order of the highest level of safety, within the context of considering what is reasonably practicable. For example, controls such as guardrailing and safety mesh now appear before elevating work platforms, mast climbing work platforms and work boxes.
Compliance code 2008 Compliance code 2018
  • working at heights not exceeding two metres
  • duties
  • risk management
  • information, instruction and training
  • examples of control measures for work up to two metres
  • safe work method statements
  • high risk work licences
  • hierarchy of control
  • level 1 controls: eliminate the risk
  • level 2 controls: passive fall prevention devices
  • level 3 controls: work positioning systems
  • level 4 controls: fall arrest systems
  • level 5 controls: administrative controls and fixed or portable ladders

Part 4 – Trenching and excavation work

What has changed

The key changes include:

  • The information previously in Part 5 of the old code, about trenching and excavation work, now appears in Part 4 of the new code.
  • A new breakout box has been included to remind employers of their duties to consult with employees and HSRs on health or safety matters.
  • New information has been included about suitable risk control measures for shallow excavations, such as those with depths of two metres or less.
Compliance code 2008 Compliance code 2018
  • working at heights above two metres
  • duties
  • safe work method statements
  • application of physical fall prevention
  • methods of controlling risks for work at heights above two metres
  • level 1 controls
  • level 2 controls
  • level 3 controls
  • level 4 controls
  • level 5 controls
  • risk assessment
  • risk control measures

Part 5 – Working at heights not exceeding two metres

What has changed

The key changes include:

  • The information previously in Part 3 of the old code, about working at heights not exceeding two metres, now appears in Part 5 of the new code.
  • A new paragraph has been included about an employer's duties to consult with employees and HSRs on matters related to health or safety.
  • Information about ladder-bracket scaffolds has been removed.
Compliance code 2008 Compliance code 2018
  • trenching and excavation work
  • duties
  • risk assessment
  • control measures
  • risk management
  • information, instruction and training
  • examples of control measures for work up to two metres
  • safe use of common control measures for work up to two metres

Appendices

What has changed

The key changes include:

  • 'Appendix B – Consultation' from the old code has been incorporated into information in Part 1 of the new code. Appendix B in the new code lists Australian Standards that are relevant to information in the new code.
  • information about common fall hazards has been moved from Appendix H from the old code to Appendix C in the new code.
  • Appendix F from the old code, which covered information about guarding holes and openings, has been removed.
Compliance code 2008 Compliance code 2018
  • Appendix A – The compliance framework
  • Appendix B – Consultation
  • Appendix C – Safe work method statement template
  • Appendix D – Installing safety mesh
  • Appendix E – Roof work
  • Appendix F – Guarding of holes and openings
  • Appendix G – Safety harness fall-arrest systems
  • Appendix H – Common fall hazards (things to consider)
  • Appendix I – Scaffolding (safety considerations)
  • Appendix J – Guardrailing (safety considerations)
  • Appendix A – The compliance framework
  • Appendix B – Documents associated with this compliance code
  • Appendix C – Common fall hazards
  • Appendix D – Safe work method statement
  • Appendix E – Installing safety mesh
  • Appendix F – Roof work
  • Appendix G – Safety harness fall arrest systems
  • Appendix H – Scaffolding (safety considerations)
  • Appendix I – Guardrailing (safety considerations)

Further information

Further information about the Prevention of falls in general construction compliance code, contact the WorkSafe Advisory Service on 1800 136 089 from 8.30am to 5.00pm, Monday to Friday.