Fall through ventilation shaft (21 August 2019)
Date of incident: 21 August 2019
A 38-year-old man sustained fatal injuries when he fell through a construction site ventilation shaft in Jordan Springs, in western Sydney. The worker was clearing building material from the roof, when he fell down the shaft.
- SafeWork NSW inspectors responded to the incident.
- SafeWork NSW commenced an investigation to determine the cause and circumstances of the incident.
Falls from heights are a major cause of fatalities and serious injuries in NSW workplaces. You must consider ‘reasonably practicable’ control measures to manage the risk of falls from heights.
- Give your workers a safe means of access and egress to work areas.
- Identify penetrations and install covers or guardrails
- Use covers that are strong enough to withstand the expected load of workers and materials; fix them in place to prevent accidental removal; and mark them so they’re not mistaken for construction material.
- Guardrails should comply with the AS/NZS 4994 series or AS 1657.
- Identify where penetrations may open once formwork is removed and install covers or guardrails before stripping.
- Put mesh into concrete slabs, as a backup to covers or guardrails.
- Managing the risk of falls at workplaces code of practice
- Construction work code of practice
- Formwork code of practice
- Formwork and falsework guidance material - SafeWork Australia
- SafeWork pocket guide to construction safety
- Erecting and dismantling formwork - safety videos
- Falls through voids - safety video
- Specific laws about working safely at heights - WHS Regulation 2017 Part 4.4 Falls