Electrical Gems #166 Dec 2021 - Jan 2022 - Page 40

TECHNICAL CORNER
MASTER ELECTRICIANS

WORKING AT HEIGHTS WITH LADDERS

WORKING AT HEIGHTS IS A HIGH-RISK ACTIVITY AND A LEADING CAUSE OF DEATH AND SERIOUS INJURY IN AUSTRALIA . STEVEN CHADWICK OF MASTER ELECTRICIANS AUSTRALIA DISCUSSES HOW YOU CAN MANAGE THE RISKS SAFELY .
FALLS FROM HEIGHTS

15 % falls from a roof

16

MOST AFFECTED AGE GROUP

66 % workers aged 45 years and over

FATALITIES

122

fatalities over the past 5 years ( 2015-2019 )
MOST COMMON CAUSES

% falls from a ladder

MOST AFFECTED INDUSTRY

40 % construction industry

SERIOUS WORKERS ’ COMPENSATION CLAIMS

6 %

serious claims between 2014-15 and 2018-19p *

17 % falls from a ladder

15

MOST AFFECTED AGE GROUP

23 % workers aged between 45 and 54 years

MOST COMMON CAUSES

% falls from steps or staircases

MOST AFFECTED INDUSTRY

23 % construction industry

* Includes data for 2018-19 which is preliminary and subject to revision . For further information see our working at heights guidance available from safeworkaustralia . gov . au .
MANAGING RISKS A PCBU ( person conducting business or undertaking ), or employer , has specific obligations under legislation to manage the risk , as far as is reasonably practicable , of someone falling from one level to another . This includes requirements to :
• Ensure any work involving the risk of a fall is carried out on the ground or on a solid construction .
• Provide safe means to access and exit a workplace .
• Minimise the risk of falls by providing a fall prevention device , work positioning system or a fall arrest system .
WAYS TO MINIMISE THE RISK OF FALLS Prior to working at heights and using a ladder , PCBUs and employers should consider the most effective way to protect workers from the risk of falling and , where possible , eliminate the need to work at heights . If this cannot be eliminated look at other preventative measures including edge protection and installing a fall prevention device .
This includes any equipment that is designed to prevent a fall when someone is temporarily working at heights , which once in place doesn ’ t need any further adjustment by workers using it , for example guard rails or barriers . Installing fall prevention systems should be considered at the design and planning stage . Examples include :
• roof safety mesh
• guard railing / barriers
• scaffolding
• elevating work platforms . Work procedures should be developed on how to correctly install , use , and maintain the system .
INFORMATION , TRAINING , INSTRUCTION , AND SUPERVISION The WHS Act requires PCBUs to ensure , so far as is reasonably practicable , the provision of any information , instruction , training , or supervision necessary to protect all persons from risks to their health and safety arising from work carried out as part of the conduct of that business or undertaking .
The PCBU must ensure that information , training , or instruction provided to a worker is suitable and adequate having regard to :
• the nature of the work carried out by the worker
40 GEMCELL . COM . AU DEC – JAN 2022