Height Safety Basics

We know that working at heights is hazardous. Falling from a height (no matter how big or small) can lead to serious injury, chronic pain and worst case scenario – death. The falls statistics in NSW highlight how important falls risk assessment and hazard reduction strategies are.

  • Between 2014 and 2017 25,000 workers were injured after falling from a height. 240 of those were permanently disabled and sadly, 25 died.

That’s why there are codes of practice in place to prevent falls at work.

WHERE DO FALLS HAPPEN MOST?

It is interesting to note that most falls happen from heights of 4 metres (or less). Common hazards include roof edges, inferior roof sheeting, scaffolding, ladders and falling from trucks.

The most at risk industries include: 

  • Postal And Warehousing
  • Agriculture
  • Construction
  • Manufacturing
  • Transport

So, how do employers and employees work together to minimise risk?

PREVENTING FALLS

It goes without saying that the best option is to remove the problem or risk completely. For example, look for alternatives to working at heights and work on the ground if you are able to.

If you do need to work at height – use a fall prevention device. Examples of these include:

  • Temporary Edge Protection
  • Temporary Work Platforms
  • Scaffolding
  • Guardrails

If a fall prevention device cannot be used, work-positioning systems and fall-arrest systems are the next best alternatives.

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