Working at Heights seminar video available

In early September 2013 I was invited to participate in a panel discussion on the issue of working at heights.  The “crisis summit” was reported on recently by Marian Macdonald.  The videos of this panel are now available through the WAHA YouTube channel and all the separate videos are worth viewing.  The video in which I first advocate for a focus on safety is embedded below.

The questions from the floor are included in the last video of the panel discussion.  If the issue of working at heights seems dry it is worth looking at the video from the 4.30 minute mark.  Several members of the audience take the Workcover NSW representative to task.

Kevin Jones

Categories business, conference, design, Duty of Care, government, hazards, height, law, lawyers, OHS, risk, safety, UncategorizedTags

2 thoughts on “Working at Heights seminar video available”

  1. Good stuff. I agree with the last speaker that it\’s an area that is well suited to ratcheting up prescriptive requirements, to the degree that critical safety elements are black and white.

    Mention of the \”BCA\” is significant. (PS: The Building Construction Code is now volumes 1 & 2 of the broader National Construction Code.) The BCA volumes could deal with an obligation to at least attempt to \”design out\” the need for rope access systems. Of course there will be times when harnesses and ropes will be needed for some building designs.

    But I\’d suggest there has to be an obligation somewhere on architects and building designers to at least consider how the building design can be such that the high skills needed for harness and rope use is less necessary. It looks as if rope technique protection is being regarded as a quick and easy solution. (As I point out to building design students, try hanging in a harness over a roof edge and rescue yourself, that will disabuse you about rope techniques being \”quick and easy\”.)

    If there is a sense that it might prove too complicated (for whatever reason) to \”tweak\” the BCA volumes perhaps the WHS/OHS regulators need to look at additions to the safe building design duties that are now in place in safety legislation around Australia?

    BCA volumes amendment vs building oriented work safety legislation changes have always been in a bit of a conflict. I\’d suggest that is mostly because the BCA stuff tends to be mostly about building structural integrity with bits about safe use of the building. Since the falls protection stuff is exclusively about worker safety it probably gives more weight to specifics about designing out need for rope access methods being dealt with in the work safety legislation.

  2. Excellent coverage of the salient points of issue made by you, Kevin, and added to by Carl and Peter.

    The audience member in the short sleeved shirt who took the WorkCover Inspector to task, equally made a determination that is in line with your call, which clearly shows that industry players want better than what\’s out there.

    If the industry was truly represented at this meeting by those present, then you guys need to keep the momentum going and achieve your goals.

    Well Done to all who attended.

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