Has your workplace been safeguarded against the most common Construction Hazard?

There is no doubt that construction sites can be dangerous places for workers especially those engaging in work from heights, such as those on scaffolds, roof tops, ladders etc. It is important that employers safeguard these workers to minimise the risk of injuries and fatalities.

Slips, trips and falls from heights are the most common accidents that occur on construction sites which result in worker injuries and very often deaths, yet there are still workers who conduct dangerous tasks from heights without the appropriate protection. This could be for a number of reasons, perhaps they have not been trained on the correct safety procedures to follow or perhaps they have been trained but incorrectly assume that they are experienced enough to handle work from heights without protection or perhaps they think that setting up appropriate fall protection is too time consuming, whatever the reason a number of workers are dying each year because of these common misconceptions.

Remember even falls from low heights can cause injury, so once the hazard of working from a height has been identified and it is determined that this hazard cannot be eliminated, employers must attempt to minimise the risk associated with it as much as possible.

There are 3 basic considerations when it comes to safe working from heights- that are often ignored, they are:

  • Training
  • PPE
  • Supervision

The most important tool any construction worker has in protecting him/herself is knowledge. That is why safety training is of utmost importance and is in fact a legal requirement.

Workers need to undergo general construction safety training before they even set foot onto a construction site – it’s the law. This construction safety training should be in the form of The White Card. The White card teaches workers about the most common construction hazards and the safety measures that should be implemented to control them, including work from heights.

Even though workers should be in possession of their White Card it is important that employers offer additional training in the form of site specific training to familiarise them with the unique hazards presented by work on the site. No two sites will be exactly the same and that is why site specific training is needed. Workers operating from heights should receive special site specific training relating to this hazard and the control measures implemented on the site to overcome them.

Fall protection and PPE are another important aspect of work from heights. Workers must be trained on effective fall protection equipment and personal protective equipment that they need to utilise. They should also be provided with this equipment free of charge and trained on its correct use.

The final aspect to consider in keeping workers safe when working from heights is supervision. Workers need to be supervised when undertaking high risk work. Supervise workers to ensure that they abiding by the sites safe work methods and sticking to their training. Also ensure that they are utilising the protective equipment they have been advised to utilised and doing so correctly. Young workers in particularly require added supervision when working from heights or engaging in any high risk tasks on site.

Link to: http://www.whitecardonline.com.au/blog/white-card-construction-site-safety-articles/white-card-update-danger-of-slips-trips-and-falls-is-your-workplace-safe/



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