Work at height – vertical rope rescue training

The purpose of this Safety Alert is to highlights the dangers of working at heights without adequate fall prevention controls.


In early March 2011 a female volunteer worker was seriously injured during a vertical rope rescue training exercise. The volunteer worker had ascended the training rope to a height of approximately seven meters when, for reasons unknown, she became detached from the climbing apparatus and fell to the ground sustaining serious and irreversible injuries.

Contributing factors

  • The volunteer worker was not attached to a safety line or any other control measure to mitigate against the risk of an injury resulting from a fall from height during the training exercise
  • A hazard identification and risk assessment undertaken in 2009 identified the hazard and potential risk of an injury resulting from a fall from height however the employer had failed to implement appropriate control measure to mitigate against this risk.

Action required

  • Hazard identification and risk assessment must be carried out in accordance with requirements of Section 55 of the Workplace Health and Safety Act 2007
  • Implement measures to control the risk and continuously monitor and review the effectiveness of the risk control measures.

Further information



This Safety Alert contains safety information following inquires made by NT WorkSafe about an incident or unsafe practice. The information contained in this Alert does not necessarily include the outcome of NT WorkSafe’s action with respect to an incident. NT WorkSafe does not warrant the information in this Alert is complete or up-to-date and does not accept any liability for the information in this report or as to its use.