Working at Heights Risks

Working at heights continues to claim victims. A simple risk assessment of the job should prevent this. It’s not the lack of information and guidance that can excuse risky behaviour. WorkSafe recently did a blitz of construction sites to gauge prevention of falls practices. It will be interesting to see what WorkSafe uncovered.

Here are some of the falls reported to WorkSafe in the past month:

  • A worker fell from a step ladder while using a hammer drill and fractured his wrist (at Mernda near Whittlesea)

  • A worker fell 3m down a stair void suffering serious head and spinal injuries (Ashwood)

  • A bricklayer fell from a trestle platform suffering a dislocated knee and shoulder (Keysborough)

  • A builder fell more than 2m through a void suffering a fractured skull and collarbone (Brunswick)

  • An air conditioning mechanic climbing a ladder while carrying another ladder fell 3m and suffered concussion and cuts to his head (Fitzroy)

  • A worker fell from a ladder and broke his leg (Drouin)

  • A worker fell 2m from a ladder suffering arm, shoulder and leg injuries (Essendon)

  • A worker fell from the roof of a house suffering pelvis fractures (at Cockatoo, near Gembrook)

  • An apprentice fell from a ladder and suffered a fractured left wrist (Napoleons, south of Ballarat)

Very often these falls will result in injuries putting people out of work for a while. No work no cash. To quote WorkSafe Construction Program Manager, Dermot Moody: “Don’t assume that because you have never had a fall, your site is working safely. It may just mean you have been lucky – but safety can never be left to chance”.

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