Are falls a risk in your workplace?

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Working at heights is a big risk for companies, with many workers suffering serious injuries from working high above the ground.

In fact, new research from Safe Work Australia has found that, between 2003 and 2011, 232 workers died from falling from heights. Of these, one-third were from the construction industry.

One-third of these fatal falls were from ladders, while falls from vehicles and roofs also featured prominently in the statistics.

Although falls are responsible for a high number of deaths every year, serious injuries are also costing Australian companies in worker compensation and lost productivity.

Safe Work Australia found that there were 21 claims every day for work-related falls which required more than one week off work. The average fall-related claim saw employees out of action for six weeks.

The CEO of Safe Work Australia, Rex Hoy, emphasised the ongoing costs that result from falls.

“This is a considerable loss of productivity and employers should be ensuring workers have the correct safety equipment for the task,” said Mr Hoy. “Falls-related incidents also place a considerable burden on our health system with nearly one in 10 of the workers who were hospitalised in the 2006 to 2009 period admitted with injuries due to a fall from height.”

Keeping your workplace safe

With falls posing a permanent danger to the safety of your staff, there are a few ways which you can minimise these risks.

Ensuring that ladders are used correctly can make a big difference to your workplace safety. Choosing the appropriate accessories for a job can make a big difference to your workplace safety.

If your equipment is starting to age, it could be a danger to your employees. Upgrading your ladders and access equipment can improve your company’s work area and minimise risks. Effectively labelling dangers in your workplace and making worker safety a priority will also help prevent falls from occurring in your business.