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RIIWHS204E Work safely at heights

Working at heights training is critical for protecting workers against the risks associated with falls from height. This one-day course provides foundational skills all workers should have.

It’s an unfortunate fact that falls in the workplace do occur and present a major risk of serious injury and even death.

But that doesn’t mean that this situation is acceptable.

Our RIIWHS204E Work safely at heights course is designed to educate workers on how to effectively eliminate and control the risks associated with workplace falls. This nationally accredited course can be undertaken by persons who are required to perform any work at heights activities where there is a risk of injury and therefore a requirement to eliminate this risk or utilise personal fall protection systems or equipment.

HSE can host your group our state-of-the-art training facilities in Melbourne, Sydney and Dubbo. We can also provide this training on your site, for a more contextualised experience.

About this course

The aim of this course is to provide students with the comprehensive understanding of how to correctly use fall protection equipment in a range of environments. Following training students will be able to identify the hazards of work at height, understand key legislation, and the various categories of personal fall prevention and protection equipment including their characteristics and limitations. Students will also be required to carry out pre and post user inspections of all equipment.

Duration: 1 Day (8 hours)

Student/Trainer Ratio: 10:1

Course objectives and content:

  • Understanding of height safety legislation and standards
  • How to perform risk assessments and control measures
  • How to recognise suspension trauma
  • Pre and post use inspection of all personal fall arrest equipment
  • How to identify and correct fit a fall arrest harness
  • Demonstrate fall restraint, work positioning and fall arrest techniques
  • Safe use of tools and materials
  • Loads on roof surfaces
  • Installing roof safety systems
  • Anchor point selection and inspection
  • Correct rigging of anchorage slings
  • Use of Self retracting lifelines
RIIWHS204D Work Safely at Heights

Qualifications for successful participants

Statement of Attainment in:

RIIWHS204E Work safely at heights

Additional course information

Prerequisites & entry requirements

There are no prerequisites for this course. All students must be eligible to receive nationally recognised training within Australia and provide a valid Unique Student Identifier (USI) upon enrolment.

Who should attend?
This course is aimed at all persons who are required to perform any work at heights activities where there is a requirement to utilise personal fall arrest equipment. It is recommended that participants have year 10 level reading and writing capabilities.
Can overseas visitors complete this training course?

This will depend on the type of visa that you have.

For example restrictions apply to international visitors who hold a Student Visa. Any course undertaken by a Student Visa holder must be conducted by a provider who is registered on CRICOS. As Elbon Consulting Services Pty Ltd is not CRICOS approved we are unable to accept enrolments into any of our courses from any international visitor that holds a Student Visa.

International visitors who hold a Working Holiday Visa may be eligible to enrol into our courses once they arrive in Australia. This is important as some occupations in Australia will have legislative and/or licencing requirements relating to qualifications. International visitors will still be required to provide a valid USI (Unique Student Identifier) prior to enrolling into any Nationally Recognised Training. When registering for your USI number if you select Non-Australian Passport (with Australian Visa) as your form of ID, you will need to enter your Non-Australian passport number when creating your USI. The following details on the passport must match in order to verify in the USI registry system:

  • Family Name
  • Given Name(s)
  • Date of Birth
  • Passport Number
  • Country of Passport

Students from New Zealand will not be able to create a USI using their New Zealand passport until your passport has been registered with the Australian Department of Immigration. This will only happen when the student crosses the border into Australia. Once the passport is registered with the Department of Immigration it can be verified and the student will be able to create a USI using their New Zealand passport.

If you are an International Visitor, you will need to provide a copy of your Visa and/or Passport by emailing Your Visa details will be verified for eligibility to participate in accredited training within Australia. If you are ineligible, a full refund of fees paid will be provided.

Recognition of prior learning

Recognition of prior learning and/or credit transfer is not offered for this course as it is anticipated that all participants will be new entrants to this course of study.

Learner support

We may be able to provide you with learning support. If you think you may need assistance with reading and/or writing, please contact our office to discuss how we may be able to assist.

Course fees

For more information and an obligation free quote please call our office on 1300 884 978. Group discounts may apply. Please also refer to the Payment Terms and Conditions available on our website and in the Student Handbook.

What do I bring?

All necessary equipment and learning materials will be provided. Light refreshments will be provided for training completed at our training facilities. Please wear comfortable clothing and enclosed footwear.

Where can I train?

Training can be conducted in one of our dedicated state-of-the-art training facilities or be conducted on your site with the use of our mobile training simulators

RIIWHS204E Work Safely at Heights FAQs

Why should I choose HSE over another certification provider?

That’s a great question. Sure, there are plenty of other certification providers out there who will give you the standard Work Safely at Heights certification that your team needs at the end of the day. But not all competencies are created equal.

We go beyond the basics

There are a range of unduly short courses available out there at the moment which offer the same certification but in less time. But a shorter course means your team ends up with fewer skills.

It’s important to not only look safe but also BE safe. Sure, your employee can take a short course and learn how to wear a harness. But if they wear that harness on the job and it’s connected wrong, and/or it’s the wrong type of harness for the situation, it’s essentially useless as the fall clearance will likely be inadequate to prevent or arrest the fall.

Our course is designed to make sure your team knows how to select, use and maintain the right gear, why it’s the right gear to use, how to connect it properly and what actions to take to successfully arrest a fall. This includes a range of rescue equipment required to rescue a fallen operator.

Real practice scenarios using state of the art facilities

You want to make sure that your team gets REAL experience working at heights, not just standing on a wooden box and getting a check mark for doing it. Our training facilities are absolutely state of the art and completely hands-on. Your team will undertake practical work which simulates real life scenarios using real roofs, ladders, platforms, ropes and harnesses at heights of up to 6 metres in over 795 square metres of dedicated facilities.

Highly qualified trainers

Our instructors are among the best in the industry. They bring over 100 years of combined experience in the height safety industry to every course they teach.

We re-train all our instructors on a regular basis to ensure consistency and that they are continually improving.

Do I really need to worry about completing this certification if my team isn’t going to be working on any jobs over two (2) metres high?

In previous codes and standards, it used to be specified that if you were working within 2m of an edge and could fall more than 2m over that edge, you needed to take necessary action to prevent the fall. This would include holding the Working Safely at Heights certification, however these dimensional specifications have since been removed. Under the revised WHS legislation and codes, fall protection must be used wherever there is a possibility of a fall from one level to another that is reasonably likely to cause injury – irrespective of the distance. Therefore, even if you are working 4m away from an edge and the furthest you could fall is 600mm, and it is likely you could be injured if you fell, you need to have completed the course.

Ensuring everyone is certified has become site policy for any reputable builder or contractor as part of their Site Safety Management Plans and SWMS if there is any possible risk of a fall occurring. The certification will even cover simple tasks such as someone installing a lightbulb if there is a risk of serious injury.

At first glance, this may all seem a bit unnecessary. However, it’s a common misconception that the risk of a fall occurring when working on single or double storey structures is less of a concern compared to working on high rise structures. This is truly not the case.

Rescue plans are of course extremely important for high rise buildings. But with low rise buildings, there’s less distance and therefore less time for safety harnesses to properly arrest the fall before someone hits the ground or the next level below. A small error when setting up safety equipment on a low rise building can have catastrophic results.

So basically, if you want your team to be able to work on any job that involves any heights, they need to complete the RIIWHS204E Work Safely at Heights course.

What are some of the benefits of having my employees take this course?

Apart from being safer in their jobs, your employees will be able to perform a wider variety of jobs, and will actually be more productive.

As a PCBU, we understand that you want to see a real ROI if you’re going to be paying for your team to complete this course. We absolutely guarantee that your staff are going to know more about working safely at heights when they leave our course than when they arrived. They are going to be safer than ever before. Sure, they may already know a fair bit about what to do when working at heights. But they often don’t know the why behind certain procedures. History has shown that when an operator knows and understands the ‘why’ they are much less likely to take that fatal shortcut.

Once your employees know how to use all the required safety equipment and how to use it properly, they will actually work faster and more efficiently. It might take a bit longer to set up and pack down every day, but once an employee is confident in their rig, they can focus on the job and get more done.

Do I need to complete the training as well? Or just my employees?

As a PCBU, you are responsible by law to ensure that you keep your team safe at all times. If your employees don’t know if they are doing things right or wrong when they are working at heights – how are you going to know whether they are following the rules? If you can’t recognise when someone is carrying out their work in an incompetent manner, then quite frankly, you won’t be in a position to fulfil your legal obligation of ensuring a safe place of work and/or safe systems of work are both being provided and properly used.

If you’re a PCBU, we encourage you to complete our training course as well as your team members. That way, you can instruct your team when needed and help to prevent accidents occurring on your watch.

Do you offer Work Safely at Heights courses?

Absolutely. Our NRT RIIWHS204E Work Safely at Heights course runs for 4 – 6 hours. For this course, it is expected that participants will have held this unit of competency for a minimum of 12 months and no more than 3 years.

Working at heights is a high risk activity, so it is a legal requirement to routinely reassess competencies to ensure those skills are retained. Reassessment can be done by a competent person on site, but the only way to properly legitimise this is to complete a formally accredited course.

Are Work Safely at Heights courses really necessary?

Our RIIWHS204E Work Safely at Heights course technically has no ‘expiry date’. The Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) does not permit an RTO to issue a Nationally Recognised Competency with an expiry date.

However, relevant WHS legislation mandates that competencies must be regularly re-assessed for working safely at heights certification. There are no specified timeframes on how often someone must be re-assessed, but there are some industry recommendations.

The Working at Heights Association (WAHA) currently strongly recommends that re-certification of a Safe Work at Height Training course should be undertaken every 2 years. Large construction companies and contractors often will not recognise a certification that is more than 2 years old.

Can you offer contextualised working at heights competencies?

Yes! In our RIIWHS204E Work Safely at Heights course, we cover many things in detail. But in a 1-day course, it’s impossible to cover every single type of working at heights scenario. If your business requires, we can expand on this training and issue specific competencies for specific sites, structures or equipment that are an expansion of the minimum scope of the nationally accredited course.

These extra contextualised competencies may not be nationally recognised, but they will be recognised by relevant industry bodies. For example – we have developed industry specific competencies for the safe installation of temporary anchors when installing satellites on roofs for the communications industry.

Ready to enrol your team in our RIIWHS204E Work Safely at Heights course?

Simply click the ‘Enrol’ button above. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us by calling 1300 884 978, we’d be happy to provide you with any more information that you might need.