WA in Fall Protection Swoop

Western Australian roofing contractors have been put on notice: ensure you use fall protection systems, or face fines.

In May 2011, a WorkSafe WA inspector observed a self-employed roofing contractor working on a roof at a construction site in Mandurah. He had been engaged by a roofing company to fit all the roofing material, including flashing and capping.

The roof was on a single-storey tilt-up panel warehouse, with a height of 6.5m. The inspector observed that the contractor was not wearing any fall injury prevention system, and did not have any edge protection in place. A harness and anchor points were found in the contractor’s vehicle.

The inspector issued a Prohibition Notice to stop the contractor from carrying out any further work on the roof without an adequate fall prevention system.

Between 2005 and 2008, the same contractor had been issued with five Prohibition Notices in relation to working at heights without an adequate fall prevention system.

According to WorkSafe WA, it was disappointing that there were still people in the building trade who did not take the risk of falls seriously, assuming that they will not fall.

This is despite falls being a significant cause of workplace death, with 16 Western Australian workers dying as a result of falls in the last four years.

The contractor was fined $2500 for working on a roof without an adequate fall prevention system




WORKCOVER SA says South Australian businesses lost 1.5 millennia worth of productivity during the 2011 to 2012 period due to workers compensation claims.

According to the safety authority, this loss in productivity cost the state’s businesses $208 million.

Statistics from WorkCover SA indicate claims for workers compensation in SA meant a total of over 560 000 days of lost productivity. This is equivalent to 1536 years of work.

In addition to days lost, the 26 523 claims for workers compensation for workplace injuries and illnesses incurred in 2011-12 have so far cost the South Australian Workers Rehabilitation and Compensation Scheme (the Scheme) nearly $208 million, with the average cost per claim exceeding $7800.

Chief Executive Officer of WorkCoverSA, Greg McCarthy, says that reducing the overall cost of workers compensation in South Australia is in everyone’s best interest. As such, prevention is better the cure. In cases where an injury does occur, employers should support their injured worker to return to work quickly and safely.

About the Author

Safety Concepts is an online resource providing up to date insights and covering issues in the field of Workplace Safety.

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