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Falls from heights an ongoing issue

March 21, 2013 at 1:50 PM

The  issue of workers falling from heights continues to plague the construction industry,  with two companies recently prosecuted over separate incidents in the state's South  East. Although in both cases the workers received relatively minor injuries,  the incidents brought substantial fines for the businesses involved.

In the first incident,  Mooloolaba-based builder Vantage Holdings Australia Pty Ltd was fined $35,000  after a worker on a Carseldine building site fell 2.9m and required surgery for  a fractured heel.

A WHSQ investigation  found that carpenters on site had left a void where a stairway was to be built.  The injured worker and another worker noticed the void and partially covered it  with planks and some blocks. However, after the worker had finished the wall  and was counting leftover blocks, he the fell through the void.

In the second incident, Chapman  Builders Pty Ltd was fined $30,000 after an apprentice fell 4.3m off a roof,  was knocked unconscious and left with cuts to the head and knee.

A WHSQ investigation  found Chapman Builders Pty Ltd had engaged a specialist to install edge  protection at the work site but had made a decision to remove the edge  protection itself. No training or information regarding the removal of edge  protection had been given to the injured worker.

Falls  are a major cause of death and serious injury in Australian workplaces. Fall  hazards are found in any workplace where work is carried out at height, but can  also occur at ground level into holes, trenches or service pits. A person conducting a business or undertaking  has the primary duty to ensure, as far as reasonably practicable, that  workers and other people are not exposed to health and safety risks.


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Category: OH&S

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