Recently we have been involved with an increased number of fall related incidents. The injuries sustained, & the resulting workers compensation claims, can often be complex & costly. In addition to claim related costs, employers also face material fines for unsafe work sites.
After providing advice and support recently to various clients with workers having sustained injuries (5 metre + 10 metre falls to concrete and an employee falling down fire escape), we wanted to provide greater insights into fall related incidents.
Fall Related Incidents – Lately we have seen an increase in falls within the workplace. Falls that result in a workers’ compensation claim can be quite complex and very costly. On top of the costs associated with the claim, employers can be fined for unsafe worksites. In one incident, a worker fell through a trapdoor at a bottle shop and broke both of her legs. The publican was fined $150,000 for not having safe systems of work, something as simple as a barrier or alternative access to the cellar.
Over the past three years, 19 people have died after falling from a height in NSW workplaces. More than 13,000 were injured and about 200 were permanently disabled.
To assist avoid such mishaps always remember the following three steps:
- If the work can be performed from ground level, do so. Wherever possible prefabricate roofs at ground level, reduce shelving heights, pre-sling loads so you don’t have to get on the tray to load or unload trucks, and design windows so they can be cleaned safely from the ground
- If it’s not possible to work on the ground, use a fall-prevention device such as an elevated work platform, guard rail or scaffolding
- A fall-arrest system is the next best option but it must include a lanyard, harness and anchor. Check the buckle, webbing and D-rings before using it. And, make sure you’re hooked up and not just wearing a harness – yes, it happens
In case of an emergence always call “000” and for less significant incidents, contact us for advice or expert assistance.
For further information please also visit Safe Work NSW