Working at Heights Breach

Safety Alert: Working From Heights Breach

Safety Alert No: 32

Date: 02 February 2011

INCIDENT

On the 31st of January 2011, at a construction site in the Northern suburbs, a 1st year apprentice was sighted by a Safety Officer to be working in breach of working at height requirements. Both apprentice and tradesman were working without fall protection and were accessing/egressing the roof in a non approved way.Both apprentice and tradesman were installing a P.E cell on the roof of a commercial building. The edge of theroof was at a height of approximately 2.5 meters. Both tradesman and apprentice conducted the task using an 8 foot platform ladder for access/egress and without any edge protection in place. During the install, the tradesman left the roof and apprentice to work on another task. The apprentice was left on the roof to finish the task unsupervised. During this time, the Safety Officer sighted the apprentice stepping off of the roof and on to a platform ladder to get down. The site safety officer and contract owner took immediate action by removing both the apprentice and tradesman from site.

RECOMMENDATIONS

It has been identified that a risk assessment was not adequately completed for the task. A detailed risk assessment would have identified the need for either edge protection and/or the use of a fall restraint system. It would have and also identified the hazards and controls for safe access and egress to the roof top work area. As a result of this incident the apprentice has been reinstructed on the correct method of safe access and egress to an “at height” work area. He has also been reminded of the Working at Height training that all EGT apprentices receive. As a reminder to all, please understand that when you are working at height (>1.8m) all persons must have a clear understanding of the “Working at Height” requirements, complete a detailed risk assessment identifying the correct control methods and work according to the risk assessment. If you are unsure of any of these requirements, please contact the site safety officer or EGT safety team prior to commencing the job.

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