OHS Code Explanation Guide

Published Date: July 01, 2009
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Part 41 Work Requiring Rope Access

Section 841 Worker competency

The employer is responsible for ensuring that workers performing recreational rope access work have the skills referred to in section 812, appropriate to the level of work assigned. The OHS Code considers a worker to be competent if the worker meets the following three conditions:

(a) adequately qualified – the worker has some type of qualification, usually earned through a formal education program, training course, etc., or a combination of education and practical experience. With certain exceptions such as professional designations e.g. professional engineer, nurse, physician, etc., or other legal requirement involving qualifications, the employer is responsible for evaluating and deciding if a worker is adequately qualified. The employer should be able to justify the basis on which a worker is considered to be “adequately qualified”;

(b) suitably trained – the worker must have training that is appropriate to the tasks, equipment, etc., that will be performed or used. The employer is responsible for evaluating and deciding if a worker is suitably trained. The employer should be able to justify the basis on which a worker is considered to be “suitably trained”; and

(c) with sufficient experience to safely perform work without supervision or with only a minimal degree of supervision – determining whether a worker has sufficient experience to safely perform work is the employer’s responsibility. A worker’s qualifications, training and experience are no guarantee that work will be performed safely. The employer should be able to justify the basis on which a worker is considered to have “sufficient experience”.

An employer must ensure that a worker is trained in the applicable skills described in the referenced publications, appropriate to the activity being undertaken and the worker’s level of responsibility. The publications are briefly described in the explanation to section 840.