2nd May, 2014

How can I prevent workplace falls?

Trips and falls are fairly common in the trades and construction industries – but they can be costly accidents when they lead to workers taking time off.

Having comprehensive workers’ compensation insurance can protect you from the financial risks of workplace injuries, however you could suffer a loss of productivity and reputation if they occur frequently.

Here are some top tips to create a safer working environment for you and your employees:

1/ Identify hazards

The workplace is often full of hazards, particularly for tradies, so drawing up a list of potential risks that could result in falls is important. These may include lighting, the stability of surfaces, the quality of scaffolding or use of ladders. Openings and holes should also be noted.

Outside of the immediate environment, you should also consider the effect extreme weather conditions could have on the workplace, such as heavy rainfall. This will typically make areas more slippery and dangerous. Employees should also be monitored, as young or otherwise inexperienced workers may not be suitable for certain tasks at height.

2/ Risk assessments

Once you’ve isolated the hazardous areas in the workplace, it’s time to evaluate how likely an accident will be and what type of injury could be suffered. Check previous incident and injury reports for more information and consult with employees and health and safety professionals to get a fuller picture.

3/ Remove or control hazard

Armed with a safety assessment of workplace risks, you can begin controlling or removing hazards that could cause falls. For example, you may want to replace machinery and equipment for safer versions, isolate dangerous areas using barricades and signs, or provide additional safety training for workers.

There is also a range of fall-prevention systems available that can be implemented in case accidents occur despite your best efforts.

Author: Murray Bruce