24 Jun 2016

Broken spine the result of workplace fall from height

Builder convicted after fall leaves subcontractor with broken spine Click here for full article

We found this article from our friends in the Land of Oz and thought it merited a repost on our own blog.

There are so many worrying aspects to this story and the working procedures that were carried out. It further shows the need to carry out a risk assessment and clearly identify a SSoW (Safe System of Work). We all know that working at height has many potential hazards and remains one of the biggest causes of workplace injury or fatality.

The first red flag is the fact that the delivery truck got bogged down which immediately makes you query the ground and site stability and whether a scaffold tower would be suitable for use in such conditions.

The next red flag in the story is that of manual handling - it sounds like large sheets of plaster board were being hauled up a tower, it wouldn't take much for a gust of wind to turn one of these into an effective sale and lift the workers from the platform.

The biggest red flag however is that of the tower itself - I find it staggering that guardrails were not in use around the entirety of the platform. Add to this that no fall protection measures were in place by way of a harness/lanyard which would seem sensible if the workers needed to lean out of the tower to grab and pull up the sheets.

It all sounds like an accident waiting to happen and unfortunately on this occasion, that's exactly what did happen. It's another life ruined unnecessarily and another story that highlights the importance of using safe and suitable work equipment.

Our Good to Go Safety Scaffold Tower checklist helps ensure that they are erected correctly and are safe to use - it covers critical components such as guardrails, toe boards, outriggers and even the grounding the tower is set upon. Simple but effective tower inspection systems like this can go a long way to ensuring workers can go home safely at the end of their shift. To find out more about the range visit Good to Go Safety.

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