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Date PostedAugust 1, 2012

White Card Online: ACT Construction Site Fall

There has been another fall on an ACT construction site resulting in the injury of a worker. The worker remained conscious and suffered minor injuries and the Ambulance Service was called in. The worker was taken to hospital and remains in a stable condition.

The ACT construction industry has been in the spotlight of late due to the spate of incidents that have resulted in the injury of workers. An audit was ordered this week to discover the safety attitude and behaviour on ACT construction sites in a hope to narrow down the reason for the large number of incidents.

This post by SafetyCulture.com.au has more:

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A worker ended up in hospital in the ACT today after falling at Hindmarsh’s “Altitude” site before 7.45 this morning. The worker fell at the Chandler st site, suffering minor injuries and the ACT Ambulance Service was called to attend the scene.

 He was conscious when they arrived and not long after he was transported to the Canberra Hospital in a stable condition.

 The reasons why he fell are not yet known; the construction union and WorkSafe ACT will be investigating.

 This accident closely follows other serious workplace accidents in the ACT construction industry, which is angering the local unions who have been expressing their concerns over the safety issues in the industry in the ACT.

 A comprehensive audit of the ACT construction industry practices was promised earlier this week in a bid to improve safety and reduce injury.

Source: http://www.safetyculture.com.au/news/index.php/07/worker-in-hospital-after-fall-at-act-construction-site/

Typically falls on construction sites can result from a number of reasons – using unsafe or incomplete scaffolds, inappropriate ladders/ladder use, falling from or through roofs, falls from trucks, falls into holes, pits or shafts, accessing shelving, accessing mezzanine areas. Falls from heights are an extremely prevalent and dangerous threat to construction workers and so needs to be managed accordingly.

Even falls from relatively low height have the ability to cause very serious injuries, including fractures, spinal cord injury, concussions and brain damage. Management of the risks can significantly reduce the number of deaths caused by falling.

According to the law if it is not possible to eliminate the risk, precautions must be taken to manage the risk and reduce the likelihood of someone falling and being injured.

Substitute with a safer surface

Use temporary work platforms such as properly erected scaffolds or elevated work platforms.

Isolate the hazard

Use physical barriers to protect workers from falls.

Engineering controls

Use “work positioning” systems that will position and safely support a worker at the location where the task is to be performed.

Use temporary work platforms such as properly erected scaffolds or elevated work platforms.

Isolation of the hazard using physical barriers can protect workers from falls or engineering controls can be implemented. Use “work positioning” systems that will position and safely support a worker at the location where the task is to be performed.

Administrative controls

Administrative controls require a high level of training and supervision to be effective and are often supported with other fall protection measures.  For example use warning signs to warn workers of falling hazard.

Working on the ground is the most effective method of protecting workers from fall hazards. This is not always possible, so the hazard has to be managed.

Administrative controls should be implemented if engineering controls are not practical. These controls require a high level of training and supervision to be effective and are often supported with other fall protection measures. Eg Use of warning signs to warn workers of falling hazard.

Personal protective equipment

Use personal protective equipment to minimise injury in the event of a fall. Make sure workers are trained on correct use of PPE.

Construction workers need to use personal protective equipment to minimise injury in the event of a fall or any other hazard protection on a construction site. Employers have a duty to provide PPE to workers and workers shouldn’t just be given PPE, but must be trained on its correct use so that workers can get the full benefit of the PPE.  PPE should be maintained and kept in perfect working order. This in conjunction with the other measures mentioned above combined can contribute to a safer and healthier work environment and perhaps reduce the incidents of falling which seem so prevalent on ACT construction sites.

 Posted by Steven Asnicar

 

Steven Asnicar is regarded as a leader across many fields of industry. In particular, his specialisation across the health, infrastructure, construction, resource and utility sectors has seen him successfully change the dynamics of these industries through the introduction of new strategic, marketing, training and technical frameworks. Steven works closely with industry peak bodies such as Safework Australia, Australian Logistics Council, National Advisory for Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment (NATESE) and the Council of Australian Governments in the development of new delivery standards and industry specific programs.

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