SafeWork NSW issues workplace fall risk safety alert

Transport peak period spurs Falls from Heights Advisory Program

SafeWork NSW issues workplace fall risk safety alert
SafeWork notes falling from heights is a leading cause of workplace casualties


SafeWork NSW has flagged it will be visiting businesses in the transport, distribution and warehousing sectors across Sydney/Metropolitan area as part of a Falls from Heights Advisory Program aimed at reducing fall-related injuries.

The safety authority observes a large increase in deliveries across the industry during this time of year, with one of the key risks being falling from a vehicle during loading and unloading.

Falling from heights is a leading cause of workplace fatalities and serious injuries, and is a key priority in the Transport WHS Sector Plan. 

SafeWork executive director of operations Tony Williams says the lead up to the Christmas was a peak time for the transport sector and other operators in the supply chain, and comes as a timely reminder to industry of the serious nature of working at heights.

"The transport and distribution sector operates in a working environment which includes tight scheduling and demanding customer expectations, which can cause impacts across the supply chain," he says.

"SafeWork inspectors will be visiting workplaces to promote a ‘work from the ground approach’ when loading and unloading vehicles, and the use of work platforms and rail systems where this is not reasonably practicable."

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SafeWork NSW adds in April this year it visited more than 200 transport businesses across regional NSW, identifying and managing the risks of working at heights, while explaining employer obligations under WHS law.

"There are approximately 158,000 workers in the NSW road freight industry, 41 per cent of whom are employed in the road transport sector," Williams says.

"Workers continue to be placed at risk when working on the trays of trucks and trailers to restrain and or unrestrain loads which places them at significant risk of a fall from height – we simply want to talk to people about how to do things better and safer."


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