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Preventing Falls from Height in Your Workplace

Falls from height are a leading cause of serious and fatal injuries in workplaces. Even a fall from a modest height can result in broken bones, head injuries, or worse. As an employer, it is your responsibility to protect your employees from these preventable accidents.

Start by identifying any areas or tasks in your workplace that involve working at height. This includes not just construction sites and rooftops, but also more mundane settings like using ladders to reach supplies on high shelves.

Where possible, avoid working at height altogether by making design changes. For example, place frequently used supplies within reach rather than up on high shelves. For machinery, place controls and maintenance points at ground level when feasible.

When working at height is unavoidable, follow these best practices:

  • Conduct thorough risk assessments for any tasks involving elevation. Identify potential hazards and implement controls.

  • Provide proper equipment like ladders, scaffolds, or aerial lifts. Make sure they are appropriate for the job and meet safety standards.

  • Train all employees on safe work procedures, including proper use of equipment. Emphasise maintaining three points of contact on ladders.

  • Implement and enforce fall protection measures like guardrails, safety nets, or fall arrest systems. Require and provide fall protection equipment.

  • Keep work areas tidy to prevent slips and trips. Address any spills immediately.

  • Inspect equipment before each use and perform regular maintenance. Remove damaged or unsafe equipment from service.

  • Review safety policies and procedures periodically to ensure they are adequate and being followed.

  • Investigate all fall incidents thoroughly. Identify causes and make changes to prevent similar events.

By making fall prevention a priority and implementing these workplace safety practices, you can help safeguard your employees from these preventable tragedies. Protecting your greatest assets - your people - is not only the law but the right thing to do.


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