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Five factors your risk assessment should look for to identify falling hazards

by , 14 July 2014
Falling accidents are in the top three of the most common kinds of construction accidents. They claim the lives of thousands of workers every year.

When you think of it like that, you realise just how important it is to prevent them. And that's why the OHS Act legally requires you to have a fall protection plan in place. To do that, you must do a fall risk assessment.

So when you do your risk assessment for fall hazards, here's what to look for...

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To prevent falls, you must do a risk assessment 

You can prevent falls with safety equipment like fall protection harnesses and barriers. But just like with any hazard, you can't just apply safety precautions willy-nilly.
You need to know what risks you're fixing with what safety precautions. 
Why? Because safety measures need to be risk specific otherwise they might not eradicate the actual cause
This is extremely important when it comes to preventing falling accidents. If you can't irradiate or control the source of a risk, it'll just continue to cause accidents.
So identify the source with a risk assessment and look for these five factors...

Five factors to look for during your fall risk assessment

1. How high off the ground do your employees work? The higher they are, the higher the risk that a fall will result in death;
2. What kind of surface does the raised platform have? If it's made of something slippery such as polished concrete or metal, the risk is higher as employees are more likely to slip off;
3. Is the raised area indoors or outdoors? Outdoor raised areas are open to the elements. Rain and strong winds elevate the risk of a fall;
4. Is the raised platform secure? A raised platform like scaffolding can move and this increases the fall risk; and
5. How many employees work in this raised area at one time? The more employees that have to fit in this raised area, the more likely it is that one of them will slip off.
These factors all elevate the fall risks your employees face. The more risks you have, the more intense your safety measure must be.

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