WorkSafe Victoria warns employers about working safely at heights

Scaffolding_Use_of_SWMS_200x200px__62256.1410915584.220.220

Photo: SafetyCulture Library

Eleven serious falls from height reported to WorkSafe Victoria prompted a warning that there will be consequences for failure in managing the risk associated with working at heights on construction sites.

Since 1 January, a total of 11 serious falls have been reported to WorkSafe. Recently a 19-year-old carpenter was injured when he fell from scaffolding at a Dandenong building site on Friday, while a man in his 20s was seriously injured when he fell about six metres at a construction site in Fitzroy on 31 January.

WorkSafe head of Hazardous Industries and Industry Practice, Michael Coffey, said falls were a leading cause of serious injury and death on construction sites.

“Employers have a responsibility to identify the risk of falls from any height and make sure the appropriate safety control measures are in place to control the risk,” said Mr. Coffey.

“WorkSafe is asking all employers, principal contractors, contractors and workers who are undertaking work at height to review and if necessary revise their Safe Work Method Statements to ensure their fall prevention controls are adequate.”

Just a few weeks ago, a Ballarat construction company has been convicted and fined $25,000 for ignoring a WorkSafe directive to fix unsafe scaffolding.

“Our inspectors have zero tolerance for sites which do not take the risk of falls seriously,” said Mr. Coffey.

“Any of the 11 incidents so far this year could have ended tragically, and what is frustrating for WorkSafe inspectors is that they see similar incidents over and over again.

“The control measures to reduce the risk of falls are well known and readily available so there is no excuse for not having them in place.”

One thought on “WorkSafe Victoria warns employers about working safely at heights

  1. 11! Might need more inspectors out of the office and in the field stopping this from happening rather than just reporting, evidence would suggest things are being missed by businesses and so called university professionals who wouldn’t know the difference between far arrest and fall restraint or a flat head from a Phillips.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *