SafeWork SA has recently released a safety alert following an incident in which a worker fell more than five metres through the ceiling during a roof installation process. The victim sustained a cracked rib and broken bones on his back. He has been off work for several weeks whilst he recovers.
“We remind all workers in the housing industry of the greater risk whilst working at heights and that suitable systems of work need to be appropriately considered to prevent falls,” the safety alert states.
“Whilst edge protection is commonly used on roof work, it does not prevent falls through roofing structures to levels below. Other forms of fall prevention must be considered, such as catch platforms, scaffoldings and the use of safety harnesses.”
Falls are a major cause of serious injury and death in Australia. According to data, half of all falls that resulted in death were from heights of three metres or less.
Employers have the responsibility to eliminate the risk of fall in the workplace.
A model code of practice entitled “Managing the risk of falls in housing construction” is available to provide information and tips for workers and employers.