Falls are a major cause of death and serious injury in Australian workplaces. Fall hazards are found in many workplaces where work is carried out at height, for example stacking shelves, working on a roof, unloading a large truck or accessing silos. Falls can also occur at ground level into holes, for example trenches or service pits.
There are various factors that contribute to the risk of slips and trips. Slips usually occur when there is a loss of grip between the shoe and the floor. This commonly occurs when there is a contaminant between the shoe and the floor. Trips occur when a person’s foot hits a low obstacle in the person’s path, causing a loss of balance. Often, the obstacle is not easily visible or noticed.
In order to manage risk under the WHS Regulations, a duty holder must:
- identify reasonably foreseeable hazards that could give rise to the risk
- eliminate the risk so far as is reasonably practicable
- if it is not reasonably practicable to eliminate the risk – minimise the risk so far as is reasonably practicable by implementing control measures in accordance with the hierarchy of control
- maintain the implemented control measure so that it remains effective
- review, and if necessary revise, risk control measures so as to maintain, so far as is reasonably practicable, a work environment that is without risks to health and safety.
Have you at lease identified areas in your workplace were a person may fall or has fallen.