Victorian employers are being warned to protect their workers from serious injury or death when using portable ladders.
According to the State Government, inspectors have been targeting housing estates and apartment developments as part of a three-week blitz following a spate of serious incidents and three fatalities involving ladders since November last year.
“Too many Victorians are not making it home to their friends and families after falling from portable ladders – and dozens more have been injured. This blitz is about ensuring employers are doing the right thing by their staff,” Workplace Safety Minister Jill Hennessy said.
“It is every employer’s responsibility to keep their workers safe on the job. This includes eliminating or reducing the risks of using a portable ladder.”
WorkSafe has visited 70 sites and identified 28 contraventions of health and safety legislation since the program started.
There have been at least 62 incidents reported to WorkSafe involving ladders on construction sites since January.
Last month, a company was convicted and fined $15,000 following an incident in which a 19-year-old apprentice fell from a height of more than four metres from a ladder. The apprentice has suspected spinal and head injuries after being pressured into standing dangerously on top of the ladder.
“Even a fall from a low height can have serious consequences, so it is important that employers remain vigilant in ensuring they meet all their occupational health and safety obligations,” WorkSafe Executive Director Health and Safety Julie Nielsen said.