From 2003 to 2014 falls from trucks contributed to 26 deaths in Australia
Seldom is there much emphasis in the industry regarding the amount of deaths and injuries that are attributed to falls from trucks.
Did you know that half of the fatalities from falls from heights are under three metres?
The above statistics may come as quite a shock as many people do not believe that loading, unloading or performing maintenance on a truck is a high risk activity but these figures prove that it can be just as deadly as working atop a tall building. This complacency and false sense of security can be blamed on the fact that many workers and employers believe that because the work is being conducted at a lesser height there is no danger.These figures above should make us stop and think.
Why are we risking our workers' lives?
With more and more trucks on the road why are we putting our workers at risk when simple preventative measures can be undertaken to ensure their safety? An incident in the UK saw a truck driver spend two years in a vegetative state unable to move, talk or swallow when he received appalling brain injuries after he fell less than three metres off a truck.The company involved incurred fines of AU$300,000 for serious safety breaches.
What can be done to assist in the prevention of falls?
Some vehicles have been designed or modified so that drivers are not required to work at heights and the unloading and loading of some of their systems and fittings can be undertaken from ground level. Some have also been fitted or manufactured with custom designed guardrails. However the fact remains that there are still countless trucks that have no protection installed and it is necessary for workers to carry out tasks at height.
What types of protection can be used?
Harnesses, cables and overhead rail systems can all be used with varying degrees of effectiveness, user flexibility and confidence.
At Sayfa, we suggest the installation of an overhead fall arrest system, such as our Raptor Rigid Rail System, which can give the peace of mind that you and your workers deserve. Unlike an overhead cable, it allows a full range of movement and is designed to arrest a fall more quickly, which means there is less risk of injury to the operator. Watch the video below to find out more about the advantages of overhead rigid rail systems compared to overhead cable lines.
A death is still a death no matter how far you have fallen
The most important thing to remember is that deaths that occur from falls from heights do not need to be on top of a skyscraper or multilevel building. We must always be aware and constantly vigilant when any work is being conducted at any height - statistics don't lie!
Want more information?
Read more at Safe Work Australia - Preventing Workers Falling From Trucks.