WorkCover releases safety warning following serious fall incidents

A safety warning on working from heights has been issued by WorkCover NSW following four serious incidents in recent months.

John Watson, General Manager of WorkCover NSW Work Health and Safety Division said that three workers had died and one worker was seriously injured in separate incidents across the state.

“Working from heights can be dangerous and, as these incidents show, a fall can result in serious injury or death,” said Mr Watson.

“These risks are highlighted by WorkCover data that indicates 2009/10 5,745 workers were injured in a fall from heights at a cost of more than $72 million.

“Under work health and safety laws, workplaces must have safety systems in place to prevent workers falling from heights.

“Businesses must provide workers with information, instruction, training and supervision in risk control procedures.

“Workers are required to follow the procedures set out by the business who must provide a safe workplace by identifying foreseeable hazards, assessing risks and taking action to eliminate or control those risks.”

There are specific measures that workplace safety laws require to minimise the risks of working at heights.

  • Appropriate personal protective equipment should be used.
  • The work area should be stable.
  • Physical barriers should be in place over exposed edges.
  • Safe access and walkways should be provided to all parts of your workplace.

More information on working from heights can be found on the WorkCover website.

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