You need to identify all of the tasks and locations where a fall may cause an injury in the workplace.
That includes access to areas where work is conducted. The following are tasks that need extra attention when being carried out:
Walk around the work area and speak to your workers to determine where work is being done that may result in falls.
In this process, it can be useful to have a checklist. Key things that you should look for include:
In certain situations, it might be necessary to get advice from technical specialists, like structural engineers, in order to check on the load-bearing capacity or stability of a structure.
Make sure you check your records of ‘near miss’ incidents and previous injuries that relate to falls.
Advice and information on fall risks and hazards that relate to specific work activities and industries are also available from safety consultants, technical specialists, unions, industry associations, and regulators.
When a risk assessment is done it can help you determine the following:
If you know what the risk is and the best way to control it already, then it is not necessary to have a risk assessment done.
You need to consider the following matters when assessing the risks that arise from each type of fall hazard:
If there several different workplaces or work areas that you are responsible for and they have the same fall hazards then you can conduct a generic or single risk assessment.
However, a risk assessment should be conducted on individual fall hazards if there is a chance that an individual might be exposed to different, additional, or greater risks.
There are several different ways that risks of falls can be control. There are some control measures that are more effective compared to others.
Control measures may be ranked from the lowest level of reliability and protection to the highest. The ranking is referred to as the hierarchy of control.
Duty holders are required by the WHS regulations to work through the hierarchy and select the control that minimises or eliminates the risk the most effectively in those circumstances.
It might involve one control measure or several different controls combined.
To manage the risk of fall, the following control measures are required by the WHS Regulations to be implemented, wherever it is reasonably practicable.
Usually, it isn’t necessary implementing additional control measures for managing the risk of falls in work areas in buildings that comply with the National Construction Code of Australia already, for example, in relation to balconies, mezzanines, and stairs.
In some cases, it might be necessary to have a combination of various control measures, for example, using a safety harness when working on an elevated platform.
Control measures are necessary whenever there is a risk of injury no matter what the fall height is.
For low falls, the risk should be assessed and reasonably practicable measures should be provided that reflect this risk.
For example, there might be a risk to workers who stand on a 1.7-metre high narrow platform next to the production line where they must work with their backs to an open edge or where they are at risk of falling on an uneven surface that has protrusions or sharp edges.
In these situations, installing a guard rail along the platform’s edge might be reasonably practicable.
At times it might not be reasonably practicable to supply guard rails, such as on vehicle inspection pits or railway platforms.
If so, then other safe work systems should be implemented that provide adequate protection, such as brightly painted lines for designating edges.
Work of higher frequency and long duration usually will require control measures that are higher up in the hierarchy in order to provide an adequate amount of protection.
For instance, using mobile scaffolding instead of ladders.
It is also important to ensure that you choose control measures that don’t create new hazards such as electrical risks from coming into contact with power lines overhead or entanglement or crushing from plants from an elevated work platform.
You need to ensure that what control measures are implemented remain effective.
That includes checking to ensure that the control measures fit the intended purpose; are well-suited for the duration and nature of the work, and are installed and used properly.
To enable your selected control measures to work effectively, you should create work procedures on how to properly install, maintain, and use the control measure.
These procedures should include a planned inspection and maintenance program for the control measures.
This inspection regimen should include details for:
Consult with the equipment supplier and/or manufacturer for any product-specific requirements.
If there are any signs of weakness or wear that are discovered during the inspection process, the means of attachment or components will need to be withdrawn from use until they have been replaced with components that function properly.
You need to provide instruction, information, and training to workers, including rescue and emergency procedures. You also should cover:
You must provide supervision by making sure that workers who are exposed to fall risks are supervised adequately by a competent individual, especially if they are not familiar with the working environment or are undergoing training. Check to see that:
Control measures that are implemented in order to prevent falls from occurring need to be reviewed, and revised if necessary, to ensure they work the way they were intended to and to maintain a work environment that does not pose risks to safety and health.
An individual conducting an undertaking or business must review and revise any fall control measures as necessary:
The same methods need to be used to review the control measures that were used during the initial hazard identification phase.
Consult with your workers as well as their safety and health representations and take the following into consideration:
If you are looking for knowledgeable and experienced scaffolders, who have leading-hands that work together with you and offer expert advice, please contact us at Skelscaff today on 1300 266 607 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.