Construction Safety Focus
WorkSafe Victoria recently conducted an inspection blitz focusing on falling building materials and equipment at construction sites. Falling objects are a leading cause of death and serious injury in the construction industry and poses risks to the public around sites. Even relatively light and small object (e.g. nuts and bolts) can cause serious or fatal injuries if it hits a person from height.
WorkSafe has released guidance on controlling the hazards associated with falling objects on construction sites.
Construction Safety Focus - Falling Objects
Non-construction workplaces should also identify and control falling object hazards. Being hit by falling objects is a leading cause of work-related fatalities in Australia*.
Falling object incidents are often easily controlled, yet is an area where people often become complacent. To avoid falling object incidents, the following are some preventative steps that can be taken.
- Avoid working directly beneath moving components of machinery e.g. conveyors. Where possible locate workstations away from such areas.
- Never allow workers to stand or work below a suspended load.
- Do not overload overhead racking and shelving.
- Regularly inspect the condition of racking.
- Mezzanine areas used for storage should have netting or mesh as well as safety rails, to avoid objects falling through.
- Wrap loose items on pallet racking.
- Conduct regular checks of overhead components to ensure structural integrity.
* Work-related traumatic injury fatalities report, Australia 2015, Safe Work Australia, 2016.