The Victorian workplace regulator, WorkSafe, is urging PCBUs to take fall risks seriously after several incidents last week left three workers with severe injuries in hospital.
On Wednesday last week, a roofing contractor fell seven meters through a hole in a box gutter at a construction site in Epping.
While he was wearing a harness, it wasn’t attached to anything, and when he fell, he suffered a broken ankle and broken hip.
The same day, in Frankston, another roofing contractor fell three metres off a ladder while undertaking inspection work on a residential unit.
He suffered serious head injuries and was taken to hospital.
Another worker suffered head trauma the following day when he fell almost three metres from a balcony, on a home construction site in Ivanhoe.
WorkSafe is investigating all three incidents and has reiterated the need for fall prevention, citing two deaths due to falls on Victorian worksites this year.
WorkSafe Acting Executive Director of Health and Safety Barbara Hill explained that falls from heights are a leading cause of death and serious injury in Victoria.
“Three men have been left with severe injuries just weeks from the Christmas holidays,” Ms Hill said.
“No family should have to deal with the trauma of hospital visits to a seriously injured loved one because employers failed to adequately protect them from fall from height risks.”
“We urge all employers, principal contractors, contractors and workers who are working at height to review, and if required, revise their Safe Work Method Statements to ensure appropriate fall controls are in place.”
WorkSafe is actively targeting both scaffolding and fall prevention safety this summer, visiting almost 70 construction sites and issuing 17 notices for safety failures.
“WorkSafe inspectors have a zero-tolerance approach to sites that do not take the fall risks seriously,” Ms Hill explained.
“Where we identify failures to meet occupational health and safety obligations we will not hesitate to take enforcement action.”