White Card Update: Importance of Guarding Against Falls in Construction

Man Hospitalised after Construction Site Fall

Yet another fall incident has taken place on a construction site in Melbourne, this time leaving a worker nursing serious injuries after he fell from the second storey of the building under construction.

According to reports the man fell five metres from the second storey of the building and landed on the first floor. The man suffered a serious spinal injury from the fall.

The following excerpt from SafetyCulture.com.au explains what happened:

Paramedics3The man was lowered to the ground using a hydraulic platform and later rushed to the Royal Melbourne Hospital where his condition was said to be stable.

The man is believed to have suffered a serious spinal injury.

Source: http://content.safetyculture.com.au/news/index.php/09/construction-site-fall-leaves-man-hospital/#.VAYXzPmSyRw

The article goes on to describe the high rate of workplace falls that take place each year on Aussie construction sites.

According to Safe Work Australia, work related injuries and fatalities related to a fall from a height are the most common cause of death and serious injury.

The following statistics explain more:

Over the eight-year period from 1 July 2003 to 30 June 2011, 232 workers were killed following a fall from a height, 11% of all workers killed over this period.

In the eight years from 1 July 2003 to 30 June 2011, 20 workers died following a fall from a building under construction. Falls from height accounted for 6% of all serious workers’ compensation claims in 2010–11.

Source: http://content.safetyculture.com.au/news/index.php/09/construction-site-fall-leaves-man-hospital/#.VAYXzPmSyRw

In order to get these statistics under control more attention has to be paid to work from height safety.

Although most workers don’t see the need for fall protection when the fall risk is less than 2 or 3 metres, even falls from relatively low heights can be injury causing. Some people have even sustained fatal injuries after falling from these low levels.

Providing workers with a safe work environment and a safe system of work also includes implementing the correct measures to protect workers from work height hazards. Employers should ensure that work sites with work from height hazards have a height safety policy in place, regardless of the size of the site or the company. Even small companies and small work sites can be the source of serious health and safety incidents.

Employers should not just provide workers with fall protection systems and expect them to use common sense to utilise them. Once a plan has been developed, workers must be trained on this work from height safety plan. Employers must thereafter ensure that the plan is being adhered to, supervision of workers on site is paramount to ensuring safety. Employers and employees should also get to know what Australian legislation says about work from heights and abide by it.

Once a work from height plan has been developed and implemented, employers should also remember to review the plan regularly. As the construction progresses, the safety needs will change and the plan needs to change along with it. Once changes are implemented workers must be informed and trained accordingly.

Posted by Construction Safety News Admin
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