The average number of fatalities caused by falls at height has remained at around 26-28 deaths per year since 2003, the year when Safe Work Australia first began collecting statistics. Though even a single death is one too many, these numbers indicated that things to a certain extent were relatively stable.
However, the figures for the period 1 January to 30 June 2017 indicate that falls from height fatalities now stand at 20 deaths. Does this significant increase suggest that the working at height industry is in real trouble?
Apart from incidents involving vehicles, falling from height is the highest cause of workplace deaths with 425 people having lost their lives to it since 2003. The high number of fatalities is alarming; as an industry, we need to be looking at what we are doing, and not doing, to protect our workers.
In an age with so many technological advances, operational procedures, checklists, protocols and seemingly a much higher duty of care, what is the industry doing wrong?
How healthy are our working at height practices?
Check your systems
Conduct a system audit to see if your systems are still complying with industry standards and regulations.
How often is work undertaken at height? Are the systems installed satisfactory for this level of usage?
If you do not have any fall protection systems in place, contact a height safety consultant to obtain advice on what you need to put in place.
Check your height safety management practices
Do you have all the documentation in place when work is conducted at height? This includes SWMS, operation manuals, and layout plans of your systems.
Are all of your workers and subcontractors correctly trained and familiar in the use of the fall protection equipment you have installed?
Do you have an up-to-date rescue plan in place should it be required and is it easily accessible to all staff?
Check your height safety awareness
Are you aware of the WHS Act 2011 and are you meeting all the obligations?
Are you knowledgeable in what other Standards, Regulations and Codes of Practice you need to adhere to?
From managers through to the workers on the roof, we are all responsible and we can all make a difference. That difference could be saving the life of someone you know.
Why not conduct our 3-minute Height Safety Health Check to see how healthy your working at height practices are?
Contact Sayfa Group to learn more about your responsibilities and the options available to ensure your buildings are compliant and safe.