COP v3.0:safety; working-height

13.4 Working At Height 

Source: Worksafe: Working at Height in New Zealand.

Many falls from heights are caused by a lack of planning. Dangerous situations can be improved by identifying, assessing, and managing hazardous situations.

13.4.1 Scaffolding 

Scaffolds are a common way to provide a safe work platform.

  • Scaffolds must comply with the Scaffolding, Access & Rigging New Zealand (SARNZ) Best Practice Guidelines for Scaffolding in New Zealand or equivalent guidelines or a higher standard.
  • Scaffolds should be erected, altered and dismantled only by persons who have been trained and have suitable experience with the type of scaffolding in use.

13.4.2 Roof Edge Protection 

Edge protection is used to prevent persons, objects, or materials from falling.

Edge protection may be:

  • a proprietary (engineered) system,
  • materials to form a guardrail or physical barriers,
  • erected scaffolding that supports a temporary edge protection system, or
  • a combination of solutions.


13.4.3 Safety Mesh 

Safety mesh protects workers against falling through a roof while they are installing cladding; it should be used in combination with appropriate edge protection. For more information about using Safety Mesh, see

Safety mesh should comply with AS/NZS 4389 Safety Mesh.


13.4.4 Safety Netting 

Safety netting describes fall arrest systems using temporary netting.  This must be designed and installed in compliance with Worksafe: Best Practice Guidelines, Safe use of Safety Nets.

13.4.5 Mechanical Access Plant 

Mechanical Access Plant includes:

  • mobile elevated work platforms,
  • forklift platforms,
  • crane lift platforms, and
  • knuckle booms

13.4.6 Safety Harness 

Safety harnesses may be of Total Restraint type or fall arrest type.

Total Restraint types are preferable, they protect a person from approaching an unprotected edge

Fall arrest or Positioning systems limit the distance a person can fall

All safety harness systems must be adequately anchored, and in fall arrest systems rescue planning must be developed prior to use.

13.4.7 Soft Landing Systems 

These mitigate the effect of falls by providing an energy absorbing landing area.  They are generally applied where potential fall height is low.