Can your business afford a fine of $2500? Well if you neglect safety that may be exactly what you’re liable for, a hefty fine. This is the trouble a roofing contractor found himself in recently when he failed to provide workers with a safe system of work by not providing fall protection for a worker working at a height.
The lack of fall protection for workers on the site was noticed by a visiting WorkSafe inspector which resulted in a Prohibition Notice being issued. The worker was working on the edge of a roof with the possibility of falling more than 2meters without a fall arrest system or edge protection.
Coincidentally this was the third prohibition notice issued to this contractor for the same offence. In 2005 and 2008 he was issued with notices for failing to provide appropriate fall protection to workers working from a height, yet these notices weren’t enough motivation to persuade him to implement the appropriate safety measures.
Read this post on SafetyCulture.com.au that explains more:
The contractor pleaded guilty to failing to provide adequate fall prevention where there was a risk that a person could fall two metres or more, and was fined in the Mandurah Magistrates Court last week.
In May 2011 the worker was seen by a WorkSafe inspector working near the edge of the roof of a single-storey tilt-up panel warehouse. He was not wearing any fall injury prevention system and had no edge protection. He was issued a Prohibition Notice.
He was previously issued with five Prohibition Notices between 2005 and 2008 in relation to working at heights without proper fall prevention system.
WorkSafe WA Commissioner Lex McCulloch was disappointed that there are still people who are not taking risks of falls seriously.
“It is evident that (the worker) just assumed that he was not going to fall from the roof and consequently did not bother to take any preventive measures,” said Mr McCulloch.
Falls are one of the most common causes of injury and fatalities for construction workers and in WA alone 16 workers have died as a result of falling in the last 4 years. The worst part about fall injuries and fatalities is that they are preventable if employers and workers award safety the attention it deserves.
It has been noted that between 1995 and 1999 alone, 362 falls occurred on a construction site and with the increase in production and construction of late that number has increased.
Also workers must remember that their safety is their responsibility and safe systems of work that are implemented must be utilised by workers. Because falls, especially falls from heights are preventable, workers must be provided with the appropriate fall protection equipment, training and supervision to ensure that they are utilising the control measures put in place by employers to ensure safety on the site.