Australian and Australian New Zealand Standards as follows:
- AS/NZS 1891 .1 :2007 Industrial Fall Arrest systems and Devices – Harnesses and ancillary equipment
- AS/NZS 1891.2:2001Horizontal Lifelines and Rail Systems
- AS/NZS 1891 .3:1997 Industrial Fall Arrest Systems and Devices – Fall Arrest Devices
- AS/NZS 1891 .4:2009 Industrial Fall Arrest Systems and Devices – Selection, Use and Maintenance
- AS/NZS 22846.1 Rope Access Systems – Fundamental Principles of Work
- AS/NZ 22846.2 Rope Access Systems – Code of Practice
- As/NZS 5532:2013 – Manufacturing requirements for single-point anchor devices used for harness based work at height.
- AS 2550.10:2006 Cranes, hoists and winches – Safe use – Mobile elevating work platforms
- AS 1657.1992 Fixed platforms, walkways, stairways and ladders – Design, construction and installation
- AS 1319.1994. Safety signs for the occupational environment
Queensland WH&S Act 2011
A general requirement for all states is a safe system of work, which applies to work at heights in the same way as it applies to all other work. The Act covers general duties, the resolution of issues, consultative processes and matters relating to enforcement. All of these provisions need to be taken into account when planning to prevent falls.
Queensland WH&S Regulations 2011
Legislation to govern work at heights is usually in the form of prescriptive regulations. The detail of regulations varies from place to place but, in general, there are a number of broad areas that may be covered. There may be specific regulations applying to various aspects of work at heights, such as the use of fall arrest systems and devices, or edge protection. Additional requirements to identify hazards and to assess and control risks specifically to reduce falls may also be included.
The legislation may cite certain Standards and/or (C.O.P), issued by an authority in the country, or taken from an authority that is recognised internationally. The Standards can apply to areas such as the design, manufacture, maintenance and use of plant and equipment.
AS/NZ-22846 Rope Access
ISO 22846-1 provides fundamental principles for the use of rope access methods for work at height. ISO 22846-2, which includes three annexes, provides recommendations and guidance on the use of rope access methods for work at height and expands on the fundamental principles given in Part 1.
International Rope Access Trade Association (IRATA) I .C.O.P
The IRATA code of practice gives recommendations and guidance on the use of IRATA International rope access methods, including training, to provide a safe system of work. It is intended for use by IRATA International members, IRATA International rope access technicians, national or regional enforcement agencies, safety officers and those who commission rope access work, e.g. building contractors; multi-national oil and gas companies; the renewable energy sector.
The code of practice is applicable to the use of IRATA International rope access methods for industrial purposes, i.e. for access to buildings, other structures (on or offshore) or natural features, such as cliff faces, where ropes are used as the primary means of access, egress or support and as the primary means of protection against a fall.
Safe Work Australia – Working at Heights C.O.P
This Code applies to all workplaces covered by the WHS Act and Regulations where there is a risk of a fall by a person from one level to another that is reasonably likely to cause injury. This Code provides practical guidance to persons conducting a business or undertaking, including those persons who design, construct, import, supply or install plant or structures, on how to manage health and safety risks arising from falls. It includes information on a range of control measures to eliminate or minimise the risks.
Licensing and Regulation
A Rope Access technician can complete a four day skills competency course before commencing work. However, in many instances this is not the case and the Rope Access operator is not obliged to provide an up to date certificate of competency. This in itself is inconsistent with the intent of Section 85 of the Qld WHS Regulations 2011.
In many respects in Queensland Rope Access, like other States, is a largely unregulated and unsupervised work activity. The only relevant Codes of Practice that have any depth, accreditation and independent verification are the Industrial Rope Access Trade Association’s (IRATA) International Code of Practice and the ISO 22846-2 Rope Access Code of Practice.
Equipment and Operational Standards
AS/NZ 22846 – The New Rope Access Standard
There are standards for rope access methods as well as equipment performance criteria set out in the AS/NZS22846 Standard. This Standard has been a significant upgrade for the operational practices of technicians from the previous standard significantly over recent times due to improvements having been incorporated. WAHA believes that in the absence of a suitable Rope Access standard in Australia, the ISO Standard 22846 Parts 1 & 2 should be adopted until such time that Standards Australia completes it review.
The main reason the current AS/NZS4488 Standard remains in effect is due to the definition of the helmet specifications, which is largely unrelated to the performance requirements of rope access works.
Otherwise, the requirements of AS/NZS1891.4 Industrial Fall Arrest – Selection Use & Maintenance should be used as a default reference as it describes the techniques that should be used when working using ‘working in suspension’ and ‘restraint-technique’.