Unit of competency details

RIIOHS204A - Work safely at heights (Release 1)


Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by and equivalent to RIIWHS204D - Work safely at heights 13/Nov/2013

ReleaseRelease date
1 1 (this release) 11/Nov/2010

Training packages that include this unit

CodeSort Table listing Training packages that include this unit by the Code columnTitleSort Table listing Training packages that include this unit by the Title columnRelease
MSA07 - Manufacturing Training PackageManufacturing Training Package 6.0-8.4 
AUR12 - Automotive Industry Retail, Service and Repair Training PackageAutomotive Industry Retail, Service and Repair Training Package 1.0-2.0 
PMA08 - Chemical, Hydrocarbons and Refining Training PackageChemical, Hydrocarbons and Refining Training Package 2.0-5.0 
UET09 - Transmission, Distribution and Rail Sector Training PackageTransmission, Distribution and Rail Sector Training Package 3.0 
RII09 - Resources and Infrastructure Industry Training PackageResources and Infrastructure Industry Training Package 2.0-3.2 
UEE11 - Electrotechnology Training PackageElectrotechnology Training Package 1.0-1.3 
UET12 - Transmission, Distribution and Rail Sector Training PackageTransmission, Distribution and Rail Sector Training Package 1.0-2.1 
AUR - Automotive Retail, Service and Repair Training PackageAutomotive Retail, Service and Repair Training Package 1.0-1.1 

Qualifications that include this unit

CodeSort Table listing Qualifications that include this unit by the Code columnTitleSort Table listing Qualifications that include this unit by the Title columnUsage RecommendationRelease
AUR32613 - Certificate III in Automotive Tyre ManagementCertificate III in Automotive Tyre ManagementSuperseded
RII20509 - Certificate II in Resource ProcessingCertificate II in Resource ProcessingSuperseded1-2 
UET20511 - Certificate II in National Broadband Network Cabling (Electricity Supply Industry Assets)Certificate II in National Broadband Network Cabling (Electricity Supply Industry Assets)Superseded1-4 
UEE21211 - Certificate II in Antennae EquipmentCertificate II in Antennae EquipmentSuperseded1-3 
AUR32112 - Certificate III in Automotive Body Repair TechnologyCertificate III in Automotive Body Repair TechnologySuperseded1-2 
RII20209 - Certificate II in Surface Extraction OperationsCertificate II in Surface Extraction OperationsSuperseded1-2 
PMA30108 - Certificate III in Process Plant OperationsCertificate III in Process Plant OperationsSuperseded1-3 
MSA30309 - Certificate III in Surface Preparation and Coating ApplicationCertificate III in Surface Preparation and Coating ApplicationSuperseded1-3 
RII30411 - Certificate III in Resource ProcessingCertificate III in Resource ProcessingSuperseded1-3 
TLI33413 - Certificate III in Waste Driving OperationsCertificate III in Waste Driving OperationsSuperseded
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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  02/Sep/2009 
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Modification History

Not applicable.

Unit Descriptor

This unit covers working safely at heights in resources and infrastructure industries. It includes: identifying the work requirements, work procedures and instructions for the task; accessing and installing equipment; performing work at heights; and cleaning up the work area.

Application of the Unit

This unit specifies the competency required to undertake safe working practices when working at heights or depths.

This unit is appropriate for those working in a operational roles, at worksites within:

  • Civil construction
  • Coal mining
  • Drilling
  • Extractive industries
  • Metalliferous mining

Licensing/Regulatory Information

Refer to Unit Descriptor.


Not applicable.

Employability Skills Information

This unit contains employability skills.

Elements and Performance Criteria Pre-Content

Elements describe the essential outcomes of a unit of competency.

Performance criteria describe the performance needed to demonstrate achievement of the element. Where bold italicised text is used, further information is detailed in the required skills and knowledge section and the range statement. Assessment of performance is to be consistent with the evidence guide.

Elements and Performance Criteria



1. Identify work requirements

1.1. Access, interpret and apply compliance documentation  relevant to working safely at heights

1.2. Identify the scope of the task

1.3. Adhere to OHS requirements  associated with working safely at heights, and the workplace environment throughout the work

1.4. Inspect site to determine layout and physical condition, condition of structures, prevailing weather conditions, equipment requirements and potential hazards

1.5. Identify and document scope of the task and proposed work practices/activities

1.6. Identify, select and check safety equipment for serviceability

1.7. Identify, manage and report potential risks and hazards

2. Identify work procedures and instructions for the task

2.1. Select materials, tools and equipment , including personal safety equipment, and check for serviceability

2.2. Inspect/install fall protection and perimeter protection equipment ensuring adequacy for work and conformance to regulatory requirements

2.3. Identify approved methods of moving tools and equipment to work area and minimise potential hazards associated with tools at heights

2.4. Install safety system  in accordance with requirements

2.5. Select and install appropriate signs and barricades

3. Access and install equipment

3.1. Correctly fit, adjust and anchor fall protection and associated equipment

3.2. Make appropriate arrangements to install required equipment

3.3. Use recommended methods to access work area for people, tools and equipment

3.4. Place tools and materials to eliminate or minimise the risk of items being knocked down

4. Perform work at heights

4.1. Check access from ground to work area to ensure it is safe and in accordance with requirements

4.2. Keep fall equipment in place and adjusted appropriately to all for movement during work

4.3. Undertake manual handling of materials and equipment in accordance with requirements

4.4. Locate materials and equipment ensuring that they are safely secured and distributed

4.5. Check safety system periodically for compliance with requirements and procedures

4.6. Monitor risk control measures to ensure that they are effective and appropriate to the task and work environment

4.7. Reassess risk control measures, as required, in accordance with changed work practices and/or site conditions and undertake alterations

5. Clean up work area

5.1. Dismantle safety system in accordance with sequence and remove from worksite

5.2. Clear work area and dispose of or recycle materials

5.3. Clean, check, maintain and store tools and equipment

Required Skills and Knowledge

This section describes the skills and knowledge required for this unit.

Required skills 

Specific skills are required to achieve the performance criteria in this unit, particularly for the application in the various circumstances in which this unit may be applied. This includes the ability to carry out the following as required to work safely at heights:

  • apply legislative, organisation and site requirements and procedures
  • access, interpret and apply technical and safety information
  • apply diagnostic/faultfinding techniques
  • apply environmental requirements
  • apply isolation procedures
  • work in varying weather conditions

Required knowledge 

Specific knowledge is required to achieve the Performance Criteria of this unit, particularly its application in a variety of circumstances in which the unit may be used. This includes knowledge of the following, as required to work safely at heights:

  • the names and functions of equipment, components and materials
  • equipment manufacturer's instructions and specifications
  • safe shifting and handling of tools and materials
  • statutory and regulatory authority requirements
  • the nature of work undertaken at heights
  • heights safety systems
  • the processes of providing for safe working practices
  • safety equipment/systems and considerations to facilitate working safely at heights
  • safe work methods

Evidence Guide

The evidence guide provides advice on assessment and must be read in conjunction with the performance criteria, required skills and knowledge, range statement and the Assessment Guidelines for the Training Package.

Overview of assessment 

Critical aspects for assessment and evidence required to demonstrate competency in this unit 

The evidence required to demonstrate competency in this unit must be relevant to worksite operations and satisfy all of the requirements of the performance criteria, required skills and knowledge and the range statement of this unit and include evidence of the following:

  • knowledge of the requirements, procedures and instructions for working safely at heights
  • implementation of requirements, procedures and techniques for safe, effective and efficient working at heights
  • working with others to undertake and complete work safely at heights that meets all of the required outcomes
  • consistent timely completion of work at heights that safely, effectively and efficiently meets the required outcomes

Context of and specific resources for assessment 

  • This unit must be assessed in the context of the work environment. Where personal safety or environmental damage are limiting factors, assessment may occur in a simulated environment provided it is realistic and sufficiently rigorous to cover all aspects of workplace performance, including task skills, task management skills, contingency management skills and job role environment skills.
  • The assessment environment should not disadvantage the participant. For example, language, literacy and numeracy demands of assessment should not be greater than those required on the job.
  • Customisation of assessment and delivery environment to sensitively accommodate cultural diversity.
  • Aboriginal people and other people from a non English speaking background may have second language issues.
  • Assessment of this competency requires typical resources normally used in the work environment. Selection and use of resources for particular worksites may differ due to site circumstances.
  • Where applicable, physical resources should include equipment modified for people with disabilities.
  • Access must be provided to appropriate learning and/or assessment support when required.

Method of assessment 

This unit may be assessed in a holistic way with other units of competency. The assessment strategy for this unit must verify required knowledge and skill and practical application using more than one of the following assessment methods:

  • written and/or oral assessment of the candidate's required knowledge
  • observed, documented and/or first hand testimonial evidence of the candidate's:
  • implementation of appropriate requirement, procedures and techniques for the safe, effective and efficient achievement of required outcomes
  • consistently achieving the required outcomes
  • first hand testimonial evidence of the candidate's:
  • working with others to undertake and complete work safely at heights

Guidance information for assessment 

Consult the SkillsDMC User Guide for further information on assessment including access and equity issues.

Range Statement

The range statement relates to the unit of competency as a whole. It allows for different work environments and situations that may affect performance. Bold italicised wording, if used in the performance criteria, is detailed below. Essential operating conditions that may be present with training and assessment (depending on the work situation, needs of the candidate, accessibility of the item, and local industry and regional contexts) may also be included.

Relevant compliance documentation 

may include:

  • legislative, organisation and site requirements and procedures
  • manufacturer's guidelines and specifications
  • Australian standards
  • code of practice
  • Employment and workplace relations legislation
  • Equal Employment Opportunity and Disability Discrimination legislation

OHS requirements  may include those associated with:

  • protective clothing and equipment
  • use of tools and equipment
  • workplace environment and safety
  • handling of materials
  • use of fire fighting equipment
  • use of First Aid equipment
  • hazard control
  • hazardous materials and substances

Hazards  may include:

  • falling objects
  • removal of scaffold components
  • inappropriate carrying of materials on ladders
  • excessive bending or twisting in different work situations

Tools and equipment  may include:

  • fall protection
  • perimeter protection
  • signage and barricades
  • ladders
  • lifting/load shifting equipment including:
  • hand trolleys
  • rollers
  • forklifts
  • chain blocks
  • hoists
  • jacks
  • scaffolds
  • elevated work platforms
  • lifting equipment (such as cranes)

Safety systems  may include:

  • scaffolds
  • handrails
  • foot walks
  • kickboards
  • safety harness
  • harness fixing points

Unit Sector(s)

Occupational Health and Safety

Competency field

Refer to Unit Sector(s).

Co-requisite units

Not applicable.