RIIWHS204E Work safely at heights

This one-day nationally recognised height safety course will keep your employees safe and open up new opportunities for your business.

Nationally recognised training logo.

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 height safety 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.

Open new opportunities for your business by being proactive

Many persons conducting a business or undertaking (PCBUs) who send their team members to us for training do so because a tender for a larger than usual project has been successful. This project will require onsite workers to hold a certificate which evidences they have been assessed as competent to work safely at heights.

That’s not a problem! We can get your team trained and up to speed in no time with our comprehensive, nationally accredited one-day course.

But if you want to take a more proactive approach instead of a reactive one, our Working Safely at Heights Course is a fantastic way to upskill your team members now for when they may need these skills in the future. Having your employees trained and ready to go will allow you to expand your services into new areas and quickly mobilise your team to take on those contracts that previously seemed out of reach.

Participant moving between roof anchors during work safely at heights training at HSE Sydney

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-use 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

Qualifications for successful participants

Statement of attainment in:

RIIWHS204E Work safely at heights

RIIWHS204E Work safely at heights FAQs

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.  It also touches on the importance of having a rescue plan and suitable equipment on hand to assist in responding to a fall.

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 decades 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.

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.

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.

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

Contextualised training can be completed at any of our training centres (HSE Sydney and HSE Dubbo). In most circumstances we can also complete your training course on your site, further adding specific context for your team.

Additional information about training at HSE

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.

A literacy and numeracy quiz will be conducted prior to the start of the course. This assists us in providing adequate course material to all our students. It is recommended that participants have:

  • Numeracy skills to
    • calculate basic sums using addition, substraction, multiplication and division.
    • locate and recognise numbers commonly used in safety signage.
  • Reading skills so
    • identify and interpret information from workplace procedures, documentation and regulations.
    • follow safety instructions that are written in English.
  • Writing skills to
    • produce or complete written documents and forms commonly required in the workplace.
    • maintain records of tests and results.
    • form short sentences and paragraphs in English.
  • Communication skills to
    • use a range of techniques and systems to communicate with others.
    • ask clarifying questions.
    • inform others of hazards and report incidents.
    • communicate required actions.
    • verbally communicate with others in English.
  • Problem solving skills to
    • identify hazards and risks.
    • select and implement risk control measures.
  • Computer skills to
    • follow basic instructions to access specific websites.
    • answer multiple choice questions.
    • save documents.


Some courses will have practical components that require participants to physically push, pull, carry or climb. Participants with physical limitations are urged to speak to their trainer prior to completing practical activities to determine if reasonable adjustments can be accommodated. Participants who cannot perform practical components may be issued a certificate of attendance in lieu of the statement of attainment.

Participants must also be eligible to receive nationally recognised training within Australia. They must also provide us with a valid Unique Student Identifier (USI) upon enrolment. If you do not have a USI, one can be created here: CLICK HERE.

Some courses will have prerequisite training that will need to be completed prior to undertaking the selected course. A statement of attainment for the prerequisite course must be presented prior to the start of training. Please refer to the FAQ section, above, for details of any prerequisites your course may have.

Height Safety Engineers does not offer recognition of prior learning and/or credit transfer due to the high-risk nature of our training courses. It is also anticipated that participants will be new entrants or refreshing knowledge and skills in the area of study.

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 training@heightsafety.net. 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.

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.

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

Ready to book your team into RIIWHS204E Work safely at heights?

Simply click the enquiry button above. If you have any questions, please contact our training team on 1300 884 978. We would be happy to provide you with any more information you might need.

Participants undertaking a practical exercise during RIIWHS204E Work safely at heights training.