HRC Safety

4 Usual Causes of Accidents When Working at Heights

Working at heights in Perth remains one of the fatal causes of occupational accidents. As a matter of fact, statistics show that it represents about half of the total deaths in the construction industry.

Sad to say, even with all the active campaigns of regulating and governing bodies, many employers still fail to implement and use proper fall prevention systems and height safety equipment in Perth.

For us to better understand the dangers involved in the construction industry, allow us to enumerate some of the most common causes of accidents when working at heights:

1. Unprotected Sides and Edges

This refers to working or walking in vertical or horizontal surfaces without proper fall protection gears. Some examples of unprotected sides and edges include towers without guardrails, platforms, fencing, and scaffolding.

To prevent accidents related to working on unprotected edges and sides, employers are required to install and have guardrail systems, personal fall arrest systems, and safety net systems, on surfaces that are at least 6 feet or more above the surface.

2. Fragile Roofs

These are the elevated surfaces that are likely to fall when applied with pressure or unexpected loads. Initially, a roof is considered fragile, unless a competent and qualified person has already examined it.

Other examples of fragile roofs are skylights, corrugated steel, and asbestos cement-roof sheeting.
Workers who sit or step onto a fragile roof are at risk of slipping or falling. To reduce the risks involved, a risk assessment should be done to identify how fragile a surface is. Appropriate measures that can be taken involve installing support materials and crawling boards.

3. Weather

This refers to the weather conditions that may impact the quality or the condition of work surfaces. Below are some possible scenarios in which weather can be a risk factor when working at heights in Perth:

  • Rain or ice can possibly cause workers to fall or slip.
  • Strong winds can blow away tools and materials.
  • The cold weather can affect a worker’s dexterity, increasing the risk of accidents and injuries.
  • Too much exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays can cause sunburn and cancer.

4. Unstable Equipment

Unstable equipment is any equipment that is simply not considered safe. When used, it can cause put a worker at risk of losing his/her balance, which may result in falling or dropping materials.

Wrapping Up

With all the risks involved when working at heights in Perth, workers and employers need to work together and assess the work that needs to be done. As much as possible, employers also have to be aware of the most common causes of injuries, so they can take precautionary measures ahead and prevent accidents.

Not sure about what safety measures to take or want to install fall prevention systems? Contact HRCWA today!

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