Working at Heights

Hazards Identified
Falls from heights, may be vehicular traffic

Hazard-Specific Personal Protective Equipment
If needed: Fall arrest system, including full body harness and lanyard, anchor point, and life line or static line if needed
If needed: Recovery equipment

Hazard-Specific Training
If needed: Fall protection, fall arrest system, or scaffolding

Safe Work Practice

  • Note that all work performed more than 3 metres above the nearest safe surface, or above a surface or thing that could cause injury to a person upon contact, requires the use of fall protection. This may be a fall arrest system which includes a full body harness, lanyard and anchor point; a guardrail, a safety net; temporary flooring; or a means of fall protection that provides a level of safety equal to or greater than a fall arrest system (Fall Protection and Scaffolding Regulations s.7).
  • Before work starts, review the tasks to be completed and the fall protection system(s) to be used.
  • Where traffic control is required, ensure that it is in place before work starts.

Where a fall arrest system is to be used:

  • Every employee who must use a fall arrest system shall be trained in its use.
  • Ensure that all necessary anchor points, lifelines and static lines are in place.
  • Each component of a fall arrest system, including each lifeline, shall be inspected by a competent person prior to each use.
  • A “Recovery Plan” must be developed to be used if an employee protected by the fall arrest system should fall and be suspended by the fall arrest system.
  • Rescue persons shall be designated, informed as to the proper recovery procedures, trained in the use of the recovery equipment, and shall conduct regular drills.

Working at Heights (continued)


  • Where scaffolding is manufactured, it must have the manufacturer’s plat attached and the manufacturer’s specifications and instructions should be readily available.
  • Where in-house components are used, the scaffolding shall be certified by a professional engineer and the engineer’’ specifications and instructions should be readily available (on site).
  • The erection and dismantling of every scaffold shall be supervised by a competent person.
  • Every scaffold shall be inspected by a competent person each day prior to use, and if defects are observed, shall not be used until repaired or, where necessary, replaced.
  • Where work is performed above water, see SWP #034, Working Over Water.

Regulations, Standards and References
Fall Protection and Scaffolding Regulations

Goals of the FSSNS

  • Save lives and reduce injuries.
  • Reduce all costs associated with work place accidents.
  • Improve profits.
  • Maintain compliance with regulatory bodies.
  • Manage and establish ownership of industry managed loss control programs.
  • Reduce Workers' Compensation rates.
The Forestry Safety Society of Nova Scotia is registered under the Societies Act of Nova Scotia. It is a separate entity, having a Memorandum of Association and By-Laws. The Society is governed by a Board of Directors, representing all sectors of the forest industry.