Unit of competency details

MSMWHS218 - Control the risks of falls (Release 1)


Usage recommendation:
Release Status:
ReleaseRelease date
1 1 (this release) 02/Jun/2016


SchemeCodeClassification value
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 061301 Occupational Health And Safety  

Classification history

SchemeCodeClassification valueStart dateEnd date
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 061301 Occupational Health And Safety  14/Oct/2016 
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Unit Of competency

Modification History

Release 1. New unit


This unit of competency covers the skills and knowledge required to recognise and control the risks of falls.

This unit of competency applies to operators who are required to undertake work in which there is a risk of injury to themselves or any other person by falling from one level to another.

This unit of competency reflects the requirements of Part 4.4 of Work Health and Safety (WHS) Regulations 2011. While the regulations focus on the requirements for the Person Conducting a Business or Undertaking (PCBU), this unit is directed at the worker undertaking a specific job/work.

This unit of competency applies to an individual working alone or as part of a team or group and working in liaison with other shift team members and the control room operator, as appropriate.

This unit includes the use of fall-arrest equipment which complies with AS/NZS 1891 Series - Industrial fall-arrest systems and devices as part of this competency.

Some jurisdictions may require the holder of this unit to be licensed or certified and users should check with the relevant authorities.

Pre-requisite Unit


Competency Field

Work health and safety

Unit Sector

Elements and Performance Criteria

Elements describe the essential outcomes

Performance criteria describe the performance needed to demonstrate achievement of the element


Identify job requirements


Identify the job scope and location


Review options for carrying out all or part of the job on the ground or on a solid construction


Confirm the safe access to and exit from the work area where there is a risk of fall


Obtain required authorisations for the work and verify hazard controls are functioning


Check the adequacy of fall prevention devices, where appropriate


Check the adequacy of work positioning systems, where appropriate


Confirm methods of moving tools, equipment and materials to/from the work area are adequate


Use fall-arrest equipment in accordance with procedures


Select fall-arrest equipment needed


Check condition of fall-arrest equipment


Put on and adjust required fall-arrest equipment


Check the emergency and rescue procedures in relation to the fall-arrest system


Undertake work in accordance with procedures


Safely access the work area


Attach fall-arrest equipment to approved anchor as required


Maintain the function of fall prevention devices and work positioning systems


Move tools, equipment and materials to work area as required


Undertake the scoped work


Remove all tools, equipment and materials from the work area


Safely exit the work area


Complete the job


Take off, check, clean and put away fall-arrest equipment


Close out authorisations for the work


Complete any required documentation or records

Foundation Skills

This section describes those language, literacy, numeracy and employment skills that are essential to performance.

Foundation skills essential to performance are explicit in the performance criteria of this unit of competency.

Range of Conditions

This field allows for different work environments and conditions that may affect performance. Essential operating conditions that may be present (depending on the work situation, needs of the candidate, accessibility of the item, and local industry and regional contexts) are included.

Regulatory framework 

The latest version of all legislation, regulations, industry codes of practice and Australian/international standards, or the version specified by the local regulatory authority, must be used, and include one or more of the following:

  • legislative requirements, including work health and safety (WHS)
  • industry codes of practice and guidelines
  • environmental regulations and guidelines
  • Australian and other standards
  • licence and certification requirements
  • relevant state/territory regulation/guidelines/codes on fall protection
  • AS/NZS 1891 Series - Industrial fall arrest systems and devices
  • AS 1657-2013 Fixed platforms, walkways and ladders – Design, construction and installation
  • AS 2550 Set-2011 Cranes, hoists and winches – Safe use Set
  • AS 2550.10-2006 Cranes, hoists and winches - Safe use – Mobile elevating work platforms
  • AS/NZS1418 Set:2013 Cranes hoists and winches Set
  • AS/NZS 4576:1995 Guidelines for scaffolding
  • AS/NZS 1576 Series - Scaffolding
  • AS/NZS 1892 Series - Portable ladders
  • International Industrial Rope Access Trade Association (IRATA) International Code of Practice for industrial rope access

Required authorisations 

Required authorisations include:

  • work permits or such other controls as may be part of the work control system/procedures


All operations must be performed in accordance with relevant procedures.

Procedures are written, verbal, visual, computer-based or in some other form, and include one or more of the following:

  • permit control system
  • emergency procedures
  • work instructions
  • standard operating procedures (SOPs)
  • safe work method statements (SWMS)
  • temporary instructions
  • any similar instructions provided for the smooth running of the plant


Hazards include one or more of the following:

  • incomplete process isolations
  • mechanical and electrical isolations not in place
  • atmospheric testing incomplete and atmosphere unsafe
  • smoke, darkness and heat
  • heat, smoke, dust or other atmospheric hazards
  • electricity
  • gas
  • gases and liquids under pressure
  • structural hazards
  • structural collapse
  • equipment failures
  • industrial (machinery, equipment and product)
  • equipment or product mass
  • noise, rotational equipment or vibration
  • limited head spaces or overhangs
  • working at heights, in restricted or confined spaces, or in environments subjected to heat, noise, dusts or vapours
  • fire and explosion
  • flammability and explosivity
  • hazardous products and materials
  • unauthorised personnel
  • sharp edges, protrusions or obstructions
  • slippery surfaces, spills or leaks
  • extreme weather
  • other hazards that might arise

Unit Mapping Information

No equivalent unit


Companion Volume implementation guides are found in VETNet - https://vetnet.gov.au/Pages/TrainingDocs.aspx?q=d1287d36-dff4-4e9f-ad2c-9d6270054027


Assessment requirements

Modification History

Release 1. New unit

Performance Evidence

Evidence required to demonstrate competence in this unit must be relevant to and satisfy the requirements of the elements and performance criteria and demonstrate the ability to on at least one (1) occasion:

  • identify and check fall prevention devices and work positioning systems
  • select, check, put on and use fall-arrest equipment
  • undertake work which is at height while wearing fall-arrest equipment
  • obtain required authorisation for the work
  • complete any required documentation.

Knowledge Evidence

Evidence must be provided that demonstrates knowledge of:

  • relevant procedures, hazard controls and work control/authorising systems
  • methods of putting on and adjusting fall-arrest equipment
  • symptoms of wear and other problems in fall-arrest equipment
  • types and functions of fall prevention devices and work positioning systems.

Assessment Conditions

  • The unit should be assessed holistically and the judgement of competence based on a holistic assessment of the evidence.
  • The collection of performance evidence:
  • must include the use of fall-arrest equipment in a work area where a fall by a person from one level to another is reasonably likely to cause injury to the person or any other person
  • must include the conduct of a simple task (work), while within the work area
  • requires the work to be done under an appropriate authorisation which is a reasonable facsimile of industrial authorisations
  • requires the person to undertake all checks and complete all documentation that is required for working in a situation where a fall is reasonably likely.
  • The work area used should be a reasonable facsimile of an industrial work area where there is a reasonable risk of a fall.
  • Assessment must sufficiently reflect realistic operational workplace conditions that cover all aspects of workplace performance, including environment, task skills, task management skills, contingency management skills and job role environment skills.
  • Knowledge evidence may be collected concurrently with performance evidence (provided a record is kept) or through an independent process, such as workbooks, written assessments or interviews (provided a record is kept).
  • Assessment processes and techniques must be appropriate to the language, literacy and numeracy requirements of the work being performed and the needs of the candidate.
  • Conditions for assessment must include access to all tools, equipment, materials and documentation required, including relevant workplace procedures, product and manufacturing specifications associated with this unit.
  • The regulatory framework will be reflected in workplace policies and procedures and is not required to be independently assessed.
  • Foundation skills are integral to competent performance of the unit and should not be assessed separately.
  • The industry regards reassessment on a two year cycle as good practice.
  • Persons seeking retraining/verification of competency and who have adequate evidence of having worked in a situation where a fall is reasonably likely and of applying current good practice in the last twelve months may be granted recognition of prior learning (RPL) for the practical assessment component.
  • As a minimum, assessors must satisfy the Standards for Registered Training Organisations 2015 assessor requirements.


Companion Volume implementation guides are found in VETNet - https://vetnet.gov.au/Pages/TrainingDocs.aspx?q=d1287d36-dff4-4e9f-ad2c-9d6270054027