New height training centre opens


Site Safe New Zealand this month officially opened its custom-built, specialist Height Training Centre at Albany, North Shore.
The facility is the first of its kind in New Zealand for construction workers.

Thirteen families were tragically affected by construction industry workers losing their lives while on the job in 2007. Of those killed, many were working at height.
The new facility at Albany will enable workers to train in basic harness use and fall arrest systems in a simulated height environment, so they get a real hands-on learning experience.

Site Safe is a not-for-profit health and safety organisation that was set up 10 years ago as a response to the high number of building site accidents. It trains an average of 42,000 workers a year, and about 2500 companies are members, including big industry players such as Fletcher Residential, Jennian Homes, Signature Homes and many other group home building companies and small to medium-sized residential contractors.

A large proportion of workplace fatalities and injuries result from working at height, such as climbing scaffold, working on roofs and using ladders. A raft of tradespeople put their lives at risk every day while just doing their job.

One life lost is totally unacceptable and Site Safe, in conjunction with the Registered Master Builders Federation, is committed to doing everything it can to make workers as safe as is humanly possible.

The initial investment required to establish the new height training facility gained the support of the Site Safe board and the industry, as they saw its potential for reducing injuries and fatalities. 

Site Safe works with construction employers to develop their safety systems, and with workers on site to improve practices through coaching and training courses.
Site Safe’s training programmes have helped member companies to significantly reduce their lost time injury costs, and have enabled companies to markedly reduce their levies and operational overheads.

To coincide with the official opening of the centre, Site Safe launched its new Height and Harness Safety Training course. The primary goal of the course is to provide knowledge and tools for workers in the construction industry that will enable them to work at height and to use harnesses safely while under supervision.

Trainees will work through the following objectives:

• Identify hazards associated with working at height,
• Systematically plan for working at height,

• Focus on eliminating and isolating height hazards, and
• Acquire basic skills for the use of harness systems.

This course takes the place of the previous Site Safe “Working Safely at Height course”, and consists of two distinct sections throughout the one-day course.

Course outline

The first part of the course covers understanding the hazard management process, the range of height hazards, and controls that can eliminate or isolate these hazards.
The second part of the course focuses on harness systems used for fall restraint and fall arrest. Trainees participate by demonstrating these systems in a workshop setting and in conducting a practical assessment of work practices to ensure their understanding of harness systems.

This course concentrates on providing trainees with the practical and basic level knowledge of how to work safely at height. If you are ever required to work in a harness this course will provide trainees with information on how to safely do that under the supervision of a person trained to Unit Standard 15757 level.

This is an interactive, workshop-based course where trainees participate throughout the day. Harnesses, lanyards, ropes, pulleys, slings and other height-related equipment are used extensively throughout the course so trainees learn the correct way to fit/wear equipment if they are required to work at height.

Trainees discuss other relevant topics such as guardrails, safety nets, access to work areas, ladders, EWPs, crane and forklift cages and scaffolding.
This course concentrates on providing trainees with the practical and basic level knowledge and skills of how to work safely in a harness, under the supervision of a person trained to Unit Standard 15757 level.

While Auckland trainees have the benefit of being trained at the centre in Albany, others around the country will still be able to attend the newly launched Height and Course Safety Training course.
Check out to find out more about the course and how to contact a trainer closest to you.

Prices for attending this one-day specialist course are: 

• Site Safe members $160 per trainee
• Non-members $205 per trainee.

Site Safe is committed to working with RMBF members to improve safety on site. For more information contact the Site Safe safety advisor in your region or come and see Richard, Paul and Helen at the Site Safe stand at the RMBF Keeping it Real Conference.

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