Falls from heights have been identified as the biggest cause of construction industry deaths. Even falls from relatively low heights can be deadly or debilitating and so this risk needs to be managed. Especially when a fall from over 2 meters is a possible risk, management of the risk is necessary.
While falls can occur in all industries, they are most common in the construction industry. According to the law employers have a duty to ensure their workplace is safe and to provide workers with a safe working environment. This means controlling the risk of falls from any height, so before work can begin,a hazard identification should be conducted and if it finds the need to work from a height on the site, ways of managing this risk need to be implemented.
Typical falls that cause death and injury on construction sites include those resulting from:
- Using unsafe or incomplete scaffolds
- Inappropriate ladders/ladder use
- Falling from or through roofs
- Falls from trucks
- Falls into holes, pits or shafts
If the worker survives one of these types of falls, they may still suffer from serious injuries, including fractures, spinal cord injury, concussions and brain damage.
There are many common solutions for preventing falls in the workplace, which must be implemented in order to ensure worker safety.