The White Card is mandatory for construction workers in Queensland (and around Oz) and incidents such as one that took place in Ipswich this week prove why.
A man was injured when he fell 10 metres from a scaffolding yesterday morning. The man was rushed to hospital for treatment of a leg injury.
The man was working from a scaffold on the Limestone Street construction site when the fall occurred although the circumstances surrounding the fall are still unknown – Workplace Health and Safety are investigating.
The following is excerpt from BrisbaneTimes.com.au highlighting what happened:
A man has been rushed to hospital after falling 10 metres from scaffolding at a construction site.
The construction worker fell from the scaffolding on Limestone Street, Ipswich, shortly before 10am.
He was taken by ambulance to the Princess Alexandra Hospital with a leg injury, a Queensland Ambulance Service spokeswoman said.
It is understood Workplace Health and Safety will investigate the circumstances surrounding the man’s fall.
Work from heights including scaffolding work, roof work and work from elevated work platforms are some of the most common causes of death in the construction industry and in workplaces in general. That is why the White Card course covers the issue.
Although the White Card course is a general construction safety course, covering the most relevant topics affecting the construction industry in general, it ensures that workers are aware of the hazards presented by construction work and are prepared to deal with these hazards so that they can fulfil their duty of care.
The course also teaches workers what is expected of them and what they can expect from employers in relation to workplace health and safety laws.
Completing the course also ensures that employers and employees are complying with federal requirements regarding construction worker training.
Employers’ responsibilities do not end there, they also have to ensure that they address the hazards associated with work from heights, as they would any other hazard on the work site.
Unfortunately despite the fact that falls from heights are 100 per cent preventable, they are the most common causes of injury especially in the construction industry, one of the reasons for this may be because every situation is different and requires specific attention.
Also people often neglect the risks associated with this hazard. For example because people work on a ladder on a daily basis, they believe they “experienced” enough with work on ladders and do not need to take the necessary precautions. It is often “easier” to just ignore the risks and go about our business than it is identifying the fall hazard and addressing the risks. Many people also incorrectly believe that implementing controls are too costly and a waste of time when the truth is that fall protection and other PPE is an investment that will actually save both time and money in the long run, not to mention saving lives.