Falls from heights claim approximately 26 workplace lives every year.
A person falling just 3 metres reaches a speed of 27 kilometres in less than a second and the fall will almost certainly end in death or permanent life impairment.
The Model Work Health and Safety Act* requires that the person in control of a business or undertaking (PCBU) has a duty of care to ensure that employees and subcontractors at the workplace must be provided with the necessary safety measures to ensure the health and safety of the worker.
Regular maintenance of plant and machinery, gutter cleaning, roof repair, solar panel maintenance etc all require working at heights and impose significant risk on those undertaking these tasks.
Workplace Manslaughter Laws & Their Impact On You
Workplace Manslaughter Laws are in place in most Australian states. This gives the appropriate state authorities the power to impose fines of up to $16.5 million and 20 years imprisonment on the PCBU should they be found to be negligent. Worksafe Victoria states that "negligent conduct can include a failure to act". There is also ability within the offence for direct liability of an organisation to be charged, without determining individual fault.
What Fall Protection Systems Do You Need?
When selecting the best suited height safety system, we take into consideration the HIERARCHY OF CONTROL which starts with measures to prevent a fall from height happening by either removing the need to work at height, or by providing a barrier system that will not allow a person to fall.
Depending on the situation, if removing/eliminating the requirement to work at height is not practicable, we then need to look at fall prevention or fall restraint systems which reduce the chance of a fall, or fall arrest systems to minimise the likely injury if a person was to fall.
Selection of fall protection systems is far from a one size fits all. Each system must be individually designed to factor in the requirements for every building. Just a few of the key considerations are:
- What is the requirement for access to the roof. For example, is it for general maintenance such as cleaning spouts or more regular maintenance to plant, machinery or HVAC?
- How often are personnel required to access the roof?
- Do they need to carry equipment or tools onto the roof to perform their tasks?
There are many different types of fall protection equipment in the market and it can be quite overwhelming when deciding what systems you require. For this reason, to make sure you are providing the appropriate products for your personnel, you should utilise the services of Height Safety Specialists specifically trained in the design, selection and installation of height safety systems. A qualified Height Safety Specialist will ensure the systems that are on your roofs are fit for purpose and compliant to Australian Standards and Regulations.
Moving Towards A Safer Workplace
Ask yourself these questions:
- What equipment such as ladders, guardrail, walkway, roof anchors, static lines, rigid rail is currently in place on your buildings to provide worker safety?
- If you do have any of the above systems, how long since they were last checked for compliance?
- If you don't have any systems in place, what is holding you back from installing some?
SAYFA is a respected access and fall protection system manufacturer, system designer and consultant in working at height safety and have in excess of 20 years’ experience in the industry. SAYFA is as an active adviser and contributor to industry and regulatory bodies.
The SAYFA team is ready to help you with your enquiry and to supply you with a turn key solution. We understand your requirements and can provide you with a range of suggested solutions that best suits your height safety needs. We also have a large network of SAYFA Approved Installers to provide a quality, hassle free and compliant installs.
If you have an enquiry, please complete the fill out the form on the right of this page and we will be in touch.
From height safety audits to equipment inspections, SAYFA is committed to ensuring your workplace safety, with all our solutions being compliant with Australian Standards, Codes and Legislation. You also have the confidence in using Australian made products and knowing that you are supporting an Australian owned company.