Falling is a serious hazard on construction sites with falls from heights accounting for most of the construction site safety incidents in Oz. Falls from ladders, roofs, skylights, scaffolds etc. all occur frequently on construction sites, but so do falls through roofs. Often a worker’s task involves cutting holes in the roof for ventilation ducts, heating ducts etc. Sometimes workers fall through these openings in the roof, causing serious injury and very often death.

There are some ways workers can guard against these falls. Workers should ensure that materials used to cover openings are available before the openings are made. The covers for openings must be strong enough to withstand the weight of workers and any equipment that might pass over them.

After cutting an opening in a roof or floor workers should cover it immediately and leave it unattended as this leave other students vulnerable to a fall. Also workers must ensure that the cover is securely and correctly put in place in such a way that it cannot be moved inadvertently.

Also workers should mark the cover to indicate where the opening is and to warn other workers to prevent them falling through. Guard rails should be erected if the opening cannot be covered.

If workers adhere to these rules, they can substantially reduce the risk of falling through roof openings.


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