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Company pleads guilty to failures that led to fall from height

9th September 2020

The owners of a cattle company in Central Australia have been convicted and fined $30,000 over a 2018 incident in which two workers were seriously injured after a cage they were in detached and fell from a telehandler as they were being lifted.

telehandler

None of the risk assessments or requirements set out in the company’s WHS handbook were met, with the company conceding they should have verified the workers had the appropriate competencies and training to use the telehandler. View media release

Risk management – working from heights

The hierarchy of controls for risk management is:

  1. Elimination – can the hazard be removed? In this case could they complete the task without working at heights?
  2. Substitution – can the hazard be replaced with something safer? i.e. replace a hazardous chemical for a safer one.
  3. Isolation – can the hazard be isolated? Could the workers be removed from harms way?
  4. Engineering control – Can the hazard be engineered out?
  5. Administrative control – such as a job procedure or time weighted exposure periods
  6. Use PPE – i.e. Hard hats, glasses, safety glasses or gloves

Whatever controls you use; workers must be trained in the process and how to use machinery and equipment required to do the task safely.

Useful resources

Managing the risk of falls at workplaces

Managing the risk of falls in housing construction

Systems such as ME Safety help electrical contractors to meet their obligations under national workplace health and safety legislation, providing access to essential documentation, procedures and field risk assessments.

If you have any questions about your safety systems, please contact MEA on 1300 889 198.

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