Falls incidents are often associated with:
- working on or near unprotected edges
- using unsafe or incomplete scaffolds
- using inappropriate ladders or unsafe ladder use
- falling from roofs or through fragile roofs or skylights
- falling from trucks or plant
- falling through stair-voids
- falling into holes, pits or shafts.
- Eliminate the risk by doing all or some of the work on the ground or from a solid construction
- Reduce risk by using fall prevention devices like scaffolds, perimeter screens, guardrails, elevated work platforms
- Travel-restraint systems, industrial rope-access systems, catch platforms and fall, arrest harness systems can also be used to reduce the risk of falls.
Wherever scaffolding is being used, it is important to understand how to identify hazards and control risks associated with the use of scaffolding.
WorkSafe inspectors are also checking processes are in place to ensure scaffolding is and remains safe, and is fit for the task(s) it is being used for.
Each year there are numerous incidents involving:
- people falling from scaffolds that are incomplete or have been altered without authorisation
- scaffold collapse or failure of components due to incorrect assembly, incompatible componentry, overloading or unauthorised alteration (eg tie removal)
- people falling from scaffolding due to misuse (eg standing on guardrails)
- objects falling off scaffolds and hitting people below
- scaffolds being struck by mobile plant or vehicles, or being snagged by a crane.
- there is an appropriate footprint for scaffold to be erected
- it is constructed on a stable surface or solid ground that is capable of bearing the imposed loads
- where required, appropriate ties or other means of stabilisation are used