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Fall arrest systems

The fall protection industry’s standard of excellence is Sayfa fall arrest Systems. What our
business means for your business is access to the best products and the leading experts
when it comes to the specific fall risks faced by rooftop workers. As the leader in design and
installation of rooftop fall protection in Australia, SFS has constructed literally hundreds
of these systems – each tailored to a different industry, company and site.

Part 4.4 of the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011 (WHS Regulation) requires persons conducting businesses or
undertakings (PCBUs) to manage the risk of a fall.
Chapter 6, Division 2 of the WHS Regulation requires PCBUs to ensure that a safe work method statement is prepared
before this high risk construction work starts.
Where there is a risk of a fall from a height of two metres or more, and it is not reasonably practicable to eliminate the fall
hazard, PCBUs are required to minimise this risk by providing adequate protection according to the following steps:

• Install fall prevention devices, such as guard railing, scaffolding or elevating work platforms.
• If the above is not reasonably practicable, install work positioning systems, such as travel restraints.
• If the above is not reasonably practicable, install fall-arrest systems, such as catch platforms, individual fall-arrest
systems and safety nets.
For truss and batten erection in residential construction sector only
The Code of practice for preventing falls in housing construction code of practice outlines the truss and batten spacing
requirements and methods for their installation. For all roof work, physical fall protection at the perimeter of the roof
should be provided – eg an approved scaffolding or guard-railing system. This code also outlines risk control measures
that minimise the risk of falls for all roof work done on the external wall top plate. The key fall protection information
relating to truss and batten spacing’s are:
For roof trusses spaced up to 600mm centres with batten spacing’s up to 900mm centres
A worker may position their body so that their feet are on adjacent trusses at all times when walking to the apex of the
roof in order to mark out measurements. When working between the trusses to fix or brace them, the worker can use
the erected trusses as a form of fall protection, but under controlled conditions as described in detail in section 8.5 of the
code – or other fall protection must be used.
For roof trusses at spacing’s greater than 600mm centres and up to 900mm centres
Batten spacing must not exceed 450mm centres, or other fall protection must be used.
For roof trusses at spacing’s greater than 900mm centres
Follow manufacturers’ and suppliers’ instructions, sequentially install intermediate battens that are not greater than
450mm centres, otherwise other fall protection must be used.

In the above circumstances, other acceptable fall protection includes:
• mobile scaffolding system
• mesh or netting, installed to the manufacturer’s specifications
• an approved guardrail system within adjacent trusses, installed to the designer’s or manufacturer’s specifications
• working platforms or elevating platforms, including motorized, single-person lift platforms
• planks placed across internal and external top plates and across the secured bottom chords of the truss.
Roof battens need to be capable of supporting the expected loads when they are secured. Manufacturers and suppliers of roof battens should provide information regarding the maximum load the roof battens are capable of supporting.

Consult with affected workers when making decisions about fall protection systems and agree on the systems and
methods that will be used at the specific workplace.
Provide information, instruction, training and supervision that are necessary to protect all workers from the risk of falling.

The design and usage of anchors for travel restraint or fall arrest systems should follow recommendations in Australian Standard AS 1891, Industrial fall arrest systems and devices and its relevant parts.

Section 3 of AS 1891.4, Industrial fall arrest systems and devices – Selection, use and maintenance, states that single point anchors for fall arrest systems to be used by one person should be designed for a load of 15 kN. The load strength should be increased by 6 kN if two people are likely to use the same anchor point at the same time.
The Standard further states that more than two people are not permitted to use the same anchor point at the same time. However, more than two people may use a horizontal lifeline at the same time, if this is within the manufacturer’s specifications.
Some anchor points and horizontal lifelines are designed to deform under load. Although the load transmitted in this situation will be less, the adequacy of the structures to which the anchors are attached must still be carefully assessed (see below) before such anchors are used. This is critical when anchors are fixed to parts of a roof structure.
Strength of supporting structures. Any supporting structure to which an anchor is to be fixed must be assessed for strength by undergoing an engineering assessment.
Many manufacturers and suppliers provide standard connections along with information on the hardware of the travel restraint and fall arrest systems, based on test reports. These recommendations do not include information in relation to any particular structure, the adequacy of the structure or the recommended connection details for the structure. The adequacy of the structure to support the full design load of the anchorage must still be verified by an engineering assessment. When undertaking the engineering assessment on a structure, it may be acceptable to allow parts of the structure to undergo minimum local damage, in the event of a fall, providing there will be no failure of any primary structural member. Structures such as some roofs or frameworks, which are not capable of sustaining loads imposed by fall arrest anchors during a fall, will require alternative methods of protecting workers at height. Recommendations Building owners, occupiers and employers should ensure that: locations of anchors comply with the requirements for safe use, safe access, the pendulum effect and signage, as stipulated in clause 3.2 of AS 1891.4

structural supports for anchors are assessed separately by a suitably qualified engineer (as stipulated in AS 1891.4, clause 3.1.2.) or by a competent person, as appropriate, and the assessment documented anchors are inspected for compliance with the requirements in clause 9.3.3 of AS 1891.4 and the inspection documented. The documentation should specify any ongoing requirement to carry out testing of anchor points. anchors are properly labelled and instructions for safe use and appropriate rigging plans are supplied to the user.

Emergency procedures Under the prevention of falls Regulations, emergency procedures must be developed and in place to ensure that, in the event of a fall, or other emergency, any employee using a travel arrest or fall restraint system is rescued as quickly as possible.

Relevant Australian Standards:
Australian Standard AS 1891 – Industrial fall arrest systems and devices
Australian Standard AS 1891.1 – Safety belts and Harnesses
Australian Standard AS 1891.2 – Horizontal life line and rail systems
Australian Standard AS 1891 – Horizontal life line and rail systems – Prescribed configurations (Supplement 1)
Australian Standard AS 1891.3 – Fall arrest devices
Australian Standard AS 1891.4 – Selection, use and maintenance
Australian Standard AS/NZ 4488 – Parts 1 & 2 – Industrial Rope Access

Sydney Facility Service is trained to industry standards to install and maintain such systems.

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