Working at heights – are the regulations safe?
Working at Heights Association of Australia
Falls are a major cause of death and serious injury in Australian workplaces. But are current safety standards and regulations adequate to ensure protection for workers?
This important issue was discussed by David Davis, a member of the Executive Committee of the Australian Working at Heights Association at the November meeting of Central Safety Group. David outlined a number of concerns the Association has about current industry guidelines and standards, as well as areas where there is a need to raise awareness.
This included his own review and critique of AS1657, the main Australian Standard covering fixed platforms, walkways, stairways and ladders, which was revised in 2013. David identified 20 shortfalls, omissions or areas of potential confusion in the revised standard. These were detailed in a report submitted to Standards Australia when the 2013 standard was released. He gave a number of examples where people working in OHS need to be aware that the current revised AS1657 is inadequate.
David Davis became a Director of the Working at Heights Association of Australia in 2016. He is the owner of Hi-Rise Access Pty Ltd, a consulting and engineering company specialising in height safety, fall protection and suspended access.
David became interested and involved in the safety industry through a friend who was working in the field. He acquired his current company 12 years ago. Prior to that, he had a successful career in the computer software industry, creating and selling his own company and looking at retirement at the age of 40. His plans changed when he discovered and developed his passion for industrial and workplace safety.