27th February, 2014

Preventing falls from heights on construction sites

One of the most common causes on injuries on work sites across Australia is falls, particularly from scaffolding and raised platforms. Workers who tumble from heights can often sustain serious injuries that require time off work and this can impact on your project's timeline and sustainability.

A well-managed workers compensation insurance package can help support an efficient return to work while protecting the relationship between the employer and employee.

While it's important to ensure you and your business are adequately covered by workers compensation insurance if an injury or accident does occur, it is even more crucial to put measures in place to avoid these incidents altogether.

Employers working in trade industries and construction often have a great number of occupational health and safety standards to adhere to, as it is the responsibility of the employer to protect workers from risks of injury and health issues.

Managing the risks of falls in your workplace can involve taking a proactive approach to hazard identification, employee training and injury prevention.

Fortunately, there are a number of simple measures you can put in place to help reduce the risks of fall-related injuries on your site.

Teach workers to slow down

Sometimes the need to complete tasks quickly and efficiently can cloud a worker's judgement on safe working techniques. If an employee begins to move too fast along scaffolding and raised platforms, they risk a careless step sending them over the edge.

There is no need to sacrifice safety for speed, as an injury will slow the project down more than a careful and planned approach to each job.

Organise the workplace

Often falls occur because a worker has tripped on an item they did not expect in their path. Reduce the risk of falling by ensuring walkways and platforms are clear of clutter, tools and cables. This is especially important if employees are likely to be carrying items that could obscure their view of the path ahead.

Author: Murray Bruce