Child Care First Aid – Injuries from falls are especially common to people working at heights.
“Working at heights” is one of the high-risk jobs across the industry, and over the years, it has retained its rank as the second biggest cause of major injuries and fatalities worldwide.
Approximately 12,000 people die from unintentional falls in Australia, and almost half a million are treated in emergency rooms every year. This is why Safe Work Australia has placed more focus on fall prevention measures to reduce height-related injuries.
Injury and damage can occur as a result of:
- Lack of training in safety and unclear job procedures
- Poor working conditions (poor lightings, slippery floor, etc.)
- Protective devices (like guardrails or covers) are missing from the work site
- Fall-protection items are unavailable, not used at all, or used improperly
In 2016, news about the death of a height worker in Singapore raised discussion among labour advocates and experts. Mr Mohan Suresh, an Indian national, fell 14 storeys to his death 3 days before he was due to fly back to India for his wedding.
Mr Mohan did not put on any safety harness when he decided to check some pipes on the roof of an HBD block. His safety gear and helmet were lying in a storeroom 12 minutes’ walk away from where the incident happened.
This unfortunate event made the community realise that a fall accident can be prevented only if safety precautions are always observed when doing the job. Proper training, well-maintained equipment and common sense will keep height workers safe from any harm.
Take a look at the 5 essential tips we’ve put together to keep workers from falling from heights.
1. Assess Risks Present In The Workplace
Risk assessment is a vital element and the first step in effective health and safety management. You need to carry out a workplace risk assessment to examine the hazards and determine what could potentially cause harm to the workers.
2. Implement Protective Measures When Working At Heights
Once you’ve identified the risks, proceed with implementing protective measures to lessen the risk. Discuss with the business officials/workers involved what fall protection systems are needed to create the safest environment possible.
Fall prevention systems mostly include barriers, guard rails, scaffolding, roof safety mesh and elevating work platforms.
3. Emergency Procedures In Place
In case of a fall incident, every effort must be made to ensure the safety of the casualty. To do that, the emergency services should have the right tools and knowledge to cater to all fall emergencies and respond to them effectively. Your re-evaluation process should questions like:
- Are we running regular fire drills?
- Do we have access to quick fire fighting services?
- Do we have trained professionals on speed dial?
4. Periodically Re-evaluate Risks
Completing a regular update on all safety measures and risks assessments in the workplace is crucial to keep on top of existing and developing hazards. As the owner, you can reach out to your insurance provider to get an idea of the potential risks your organisation could be exposed to.
5. Invest In Worker Training
Workers need to undergo regular safety training sessions and classes on handling emergencies. Sending your employees to height safety and first aid training courses can reduce the chance of accidents and injury to the workplace.
Safety should always come first when working at heights. Don’t take unnecessary risks and let small mistakes or negligence cost a person’s life. It is advisable to follow the rules of a workplace or ask questions about safety when you begin. As an organisation, you can create your safety net by educating your staff about safety guidelines and imparting the necessary first aid training to your organisation.