Construction is one of our most dangerous industries with an unenviable track record of serious injuries and fatalities.
Every year without fail, NSW incident statistics paint a grim picture and the consequences for the injured person, their family and employer’s business are often devastating. And what all cases have in common is that the incident could have been avoided.
Although younger workers are traditionally more likely to be involved in an incident than older and more experienced co-workers, falling from a height appears to be an exception.
Statistics indicate experience is not necessarily a magic bullet.
A few years ago, a total of 32 serious incidents in the ‘falls from heights’ category occurred across various industries, 15 in construction (including six fatalities).
Only two of the seriously injured were teenagers – a 19-year-old labourer who sustained back injuries after falling four metres through a hole and a 17-year-old labourer who fell 14 metres down an unprotected lift shaft.
Almost all of the other 13 injured were older and presumably more experienced workers, four in their 30s, six in their 40s and two aged over 50. In most cases, workers sustained head injuries and or fractures or broken bones.
One worker, a 45-year-old carpenter, fell about three metres as a staircase handrail had been removed, another, a 39-year-old ‘dogman’, fell seven metres after the handrail his harness was attached to came loose. He suffered a broken wrist, ribs, neck, lacerated liver and lungs and had to be placed in an induced coma.
Regardless of circumstances, all these incidents could have been avoided if risks had been properly controlled.
Check out simple safety to find out how easy it is to avoid becoming a statistic.