Working at heights is the leading cause of serious injury and death in Australia, with an average of 29 people dying from work-related falls every year. According to the statistics released by Safe Work Australia, 122 workers were killed following a fall from heights between 2015-2019. About 40% of these fall-related fatalities were reported by the construction industry.
While it is virtually impossible to eliminate the need to work at heights, it is possible to emphasise the need to manage the risks that come with it. One way to do this is by enrolling in a Working at Heights course. However, there are many misconceptions surrounding this course so let’s debunk them in this post.
Myth # 1: It triggers acrophobia
Fear of heights, otherwise knowns as acrophobia, is among the top phobias in people. Around 5% of the total population suffer from an intense fear of heights. If a person is afraid of heights, he may not be able to live comfortably in a high-rise condo or work in a tall building. There is also no way he can work effectively in a workplace high above ground level.
Despite what other people think, a course on working at heights doesn’t trigger this fear of heights. If anything, it helps people overcome this phobia.
Myth # 2: It does not make one an effective worker
Workers will never be effective if they are not confident and secure in their environment. By enrolling in a course on working at heights, they will be abreast of the latest techniques and safety practices while in a tall structure. Their skills in disaster response will also be enhanced.
Myth # 3: There is no need for any assessment
Another misconception that people have is that there is no need to identify or assess anything prior to the training. Like with other training courses, this course actually needs a systematic approach to determine what training is required to fulfill the gap between what the participants know and what they need to learn.
Employers who want their employees to take this course should identify their business needs and their workers’ current competencies. From there, they can gauge which training methods work best. Later, they can also determine the costs and the effectiveness of the training.
Myth # 4: It is too expensive
Some employers may think that installing fall prevention measures in their design is an additional expense they don’t need. But if one considers it, the costs of serious injury or even fatality can run into hundreds of thousands of dollars. These costs include fines, workers’ compensation costs, investigation fees, and others.
The risks include negative publicity, loss of productivity, and the possibility of goal time if found to be negligent. An investment into a Working at Heights course prevents accidents with potentially fatal or life-changing injuries. Participants get to learn about many things including protective equipment, and compliance, among others.
On average, these courses are priced at $250 per person. If an employer decides to send their workers for such a course, they may take advantage of discounts that registered training organisations usually offer for a class of a certain number of participants.
Myth # 5: It does not boost one’s portfolio
Regardless of the industry, getting a job these days is quite a challenge, especially with the stiff competition everywhere. Employers don’t usually just look at the educational background and experience of applicants, but they also look for special skills and relevant training that applicants attended. A Statement of Attainment for a Working at Heights course can be one of the certificates that participants can show to their prospective employers.
There is nothing better than being prepared for a job interview, and a certificate of attendance for this course is a good preparation for a more secure future in a chosen workplace. Besides, the certificate is not only for the safety and security of the participants themselves but also for others surrounding them.
Myth # 6: It is not a necessary requirement
In connection to what is mentioned above, a Certificate of Attainment may be one of the requirements that some employers look for when hiring professionals who have to work at heights. Job seekers who took this particular course may have a higher chance of securing the job than those who did not. Most employers seek workers who understand the common working at height tasks and their associated risks.
They also prefer workers who understand the different factors that contribute to persons and objects falling from height. Attending this course prepares you for the actual job. It equips you with the knowledge and skills to properly use access equipment and reduce the risk of falls.
Myth # 7: It’s possible for one to understand the topics without trainers
Like with other courses out there, this one involves face-to-face training. The training program usually includes classroom sessions where an experienced trainer discusses all relevant topics associated with working at heights.
Trainers incorporate behaviour modelling methods into the practical training to instill the value of safety among participants. They also see to it that all participants exercise caution throughout their one-to-one interactions. At the end of the course, participants have to go through assessments so their trainers can gauge whether or not they are ready to carry out a task involving heights.
These are just some of the misconceptions of many people when deciding to enrol in a Working at Heights course.
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