Safe Work Australia has published new materials to help prevent deaths from one of the most dangerous kinds of work in the nation.

Working at heights is a high-risk activity and a leading cause of death and serious injury in Australia.

Safe Work Australia data shows that over the past 5 years, there were 122 fatalities from falls from heights. This accounted for 13 per cent of worker fatalities.

Workers most at risk are those in the construction industry, with most fatalities caused by falls from buildings or other structures.

Serious workers’ compensation claims that resulted from falls from heights declined 17 per cent between 2009-10 and 2018-19, however, during this period, falls from heights still accounted for 6 per cent of serious claims.

“If you manage or are in control of a workplace, you have a responsibility to eliminate or minimise the risk of falls from heights,” Safe Work Australia said in a statement this week.

The authorities say eliminating the risk may include working on the ground or on a solid structure, as well as using fall prevention devices (e.g. fences, edge protection), work positioning systems (e.g. an elevating work platform), or fall arrest systems (i.e. safety nets, harnesses).

Safe Work says practical guidance is available in its model Code of Practice: Managing the risk of falls at workplaces and model Code of Practice: Managing the risk of falls in housing construction.

The agency has also published three infographics that can be downloaded and shared with workers or placed around workplaces: