Two fatal falls in June

Thursday, 26 June, 2008

WorkSafe Victoria has called on employers and workers to maximise fall prevention safety after the deaths of two men in June.

A 60-year-old Blackburn South man died in hospital on Wednesday after falling from racking at a Nunawading business on 3 June.

On 19 June, a 62-year-old Preston painter fell through a ceiling between the first and second storeys of a Templestowe house during renovations. He died in hospital several hours later.

WorkSafe’s executive director, John Merritt, said there had been 19 fatal falls in Victoria since the start of 2003 and more than 7500 injuries involving falls from height reported to WorkSafe over the past five financial years.

“Failing to understand your obligations and applying high standards is a short cut to disaster,” he said.

“This is a critical issue, particularly for the construction, retail, manufacturing, farming and warehousing industries.

“People can die or suffer permanent injuries from falls at relatively low heights; however, it is not uncommon to find people using dangerous ladders or not using some means of fall prevention.”

With many businesses to soon begin annual stocktaking in storerooms and warehouses, Merritt said now was the time for employers to ensure safe practices were in place and the right equipment was provided.

“Getting safety right before someone is hurt is essential,” he said.

“Courts are often told about safety improvement measures that are made after a death or serious injury. For at least one person, that’s usually too late.”


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