Fall from a work platform (14 Aug 2020)
A 43-year-old worker suffered serious head injuries after falling from a work platform while installing ceiling joists at a residential construction site in Bellevue Hill. He was standing on a plank, that at one end was resting on the top of an A frame ladder and the other end resting on scaffolding. The plank was set up to raise the worker high enough to install the roof section.
Consider ‘reasonably practicable’ control measures to manage the risks while working at heights on work platforms or scaffolds.
- you always use a suitable work platform for the task, such as scaffolds, elevated work platform, boom or scissor lift
- workers are trained how to use the suitable work platform or scaffold
- workers are provided with a safe way to access and exit the work area
- you prepare a safe work method statement for all high-risk construction work
- you have a plan in place in case of an emergency
When using scaffold, make sure:
- you use a system suitable for the task and compliant to AS/NZS 1576.1:
- Working platforms at least 450mm wide
- Edge protection installed on platforms that are 2m or higher
- Edge protection installed on other platforms where the nature of work prevents worker being fully aware of proximity to platform edge
- scaffolds are erected and dismantled by competent persons in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions, and by persons who hold the appropriate class of high-risk work licence where required
- the scaffold is stable at all times, including during erection, in situ, during and after any alterations, and when dismantling
- people can’t access incomplete scaffolds
Falls from heights are the biggest killer on NSW construction sites and this is the eighth incident information release this year published by SafeWork NSW due to a serious fall from height incident. Most serious falls incidents occur from a height of four metres or less.
On-the-spot fines of up to $3,600 may be issued to those placing workers lives at risk by not adequately protecting them when working at heights.
- Scaffold safety checklist
- Working at heights guidance material
- Managing the risks of falls in housing construction – Code of practice
- Managing the risk of falls at workplaces – Code of practice
- Falls from heights poster
- Pocket guide to construction safety
View the latest incident information releases at safework.nsw.gov.au