Falls from height remain the biggest problem on construction sites and on work sites in general, yet still not enough is being done by employers and workers to combat the risks involved with work from heights.
The latest incident involved a man who fell from a ladder in northern New South Wales, suffering head and shoulder injuries as a result.
The man had to be airlifted to hospital following the incident at the Barraba property.
The man was stabilised on site before being transported by Westpac Rescue Helicopter to Tamworth hospital.
According to figures from Safe Work Australia, 46 fatalities occurred as a result of falls from height between 2013 and 2017.
An elderly man recently slipped and fell while working in a shed at a property north of Gympie.
The man was airlifted to hospital after paramedics were called to the scene to attend to the man in his 80s.
The man fell approximately three meters and sustained serious head injuries.
He was taken to the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital in a critical condition.
This incident and numerous others which have occurred recently at private residences, highlight the importance of fall protection even when working at home. Fall prevention and fall protection measures shouldn’t be reserved only for construction sites.
Following 2 serious incidents that occurred within 24 hours of each other, WorkSafe Victoria has issued a warning to employers about the risks involved with work from heights.
One man suffered life threatening injuries after falling 3 metres from a ladder at a townhouse construction site in Rosebud. The incident involving the 40 something year old man is a reminder that even falls from relatively low heights can have serious consequences.
In another incident a man in his thirties died after falling 5 metres into a trench at a housing estate at Wallan.
WorkSafe said these incidents prove how catastrophic falls can be for workers and yet they are too common on construction sites.
Employers were reminded that the risks of falls on any worksite had to be controlled. Employers were urged to ensure safe systems of work were followed at all times.
A worker has been injured after falling from a ladder on a Queensland work site.
The man was rushed to Princess Alexandra Hospital via RACQ LifeFlight Rescue helicopter in a stable condition after hitting his head in a ladder fall incident at his worksite south-west of Gatton.
Ladder falls are the most common causes of falls from height and falls from height are the most common form of accidents on work sites, despite the fact that these incidents are avoidable with the proper protection.
In 2016, there were 25 workers killed as a result of a falls from height, so it’s obvious this is an area that requires attention.
A businessman from Western Sydney was fined $60,000 after an employee died after falling from a ladder during the installation of security cameras in 2016.
A 58 year old casual worker broke his jaw and suffered injury to his shoulder, hip and head after falling from the ladder. The man died in hospital shortly after the fall.
The employer was fined in the Sydney District Court for failing to ensure the health and safety of the worker. A adequate fall protection system was not in place.
Falls from ladders are some of the most common causes of injuries on workplaces and they are preventable. Fall protection systems should always be in place even when there is only a risk of falling from a relatively low height. Despite the preventable nature of falls on worksites, a safety blitz conducted by SafeWork NSW revealed that falls from heights have more than tripled over the past 5 years.
The prevention of falls on construction sites was the recent focus of a joint program by SafeWork NSW and WorkSafe Victoria in Mildura in June.
The Cross Border Construction Program involved inspectors jointly visiting local building sites on both sides of the border to minimise the risk of workers being injured due to falls.
Inspectors were identifying safety risks and breaches and highlighting the similarities and differences between regulations in the 2 states.
Falls are a serious issue for the construction sector. Over the past decade 17 construction workers died due to a fall in Victoria.
In NSW, falls are responsible for the most number of deaths on construction sites. In 2017 the NSW government introduced new laws giving SafeWork NSW inspectors power to issue penalty notices of $3600 to companies and $720 to individuals for fall from height related breaches.
Falls are just one of the health and safety issues that construction workers are faced with. In this high risk industry, it’s important that health and safety are the main priority.
One of the ways to ensure safety on construction sites is through worker training. Every worker must be adequately trained for the specific construction site and tasks they undertake but they must also be in possession of a White Card to prove they have completed general construction safety training as mandated by the federal government. Complete the White Card course online today and you are eligible to work on any construction site in Australia and across borders because the accreditation is nationally recognised.
A safety alert has been issued by SafeWork NSW following a workplace incident last month that resulted in the death of one worker.
The worker was killed and two other suffered serious injuries after falling through a skylight recently prompting the safety alert from SafeWork.
The regulator said these incidents are proof that it’s not just exposed edges that create the risk of a fall when working on roofs. SafeWork reminded all workers that not every area of a roof is safe to walk on or step or fall onto.
Sometimes plastic sheeting can become brittle and is reliant on correct installation for its effectiveness.