Fall from scaffold (11 September 2019)
Date of incident: 11 September 2019
A 48 year old male worker fell approximately 5.7 metres from the top deck of a mobile scaffold he was dismantling on a residential site in Sydney. He sustained serious head injuries and later died as a result of these injuries. This is the eighth incident information release we've published this year that highlights a serious incident involving a fall from heights or scaffold.
- SafeWork NSW inspectors responded to the incident.
- SafeWork NSW commenced an investigation to determine the cause and circumstances of the incident.
Each year SafeWork NSW responds to incidents where workers are injured falling from a height. Most of these incidents involve falls from scaffolds, roofs, ladders, through open penetrations and from unprotected edges.
Consider reasonably practicable control measures to manage the risk of falling from a mobile scaffold. Ensure:
- The scaffold is suitable for the task and set up on a firm, level foundation.
- A copy of the manufacturer’s assembly instructions is available and instructions are followed.
- All required components are installed, including guardrails, toeboards, diagonal bracing and internal access.
- The components are inspected before assembly and in good condition.
- The workers assembling the scaffold are competent and hold a high risk work scaffolding licence (if a person or object could fall more than four metres from the scaffold deck).
- Site specific risks are identified, communicated to workers and controlled.
- A safe work method statement is prepared for all high-risk construction work Additionally, for mobile scaffolds that remain on the same work site for more than 30 days:
- Regularly inspect assembled scaffolds to determine whether all components are present, correctly installed and in good condition.
- Implement a process for replacing faulty components and/or removing the scaffold from service if found to be defective.
Refer to the following guidance materials:
- Code of practice: managing the risk of falls at workplaces
- Erecting, altering and dismantling scaffolding
- Safe Work Australia scaffolds and scaffolding work general guide
- Safe Work Australia guide for scaffold inspection and maintenance
- Working at heights
- Pocket guide to construction safety