Towards Zero – Falls from Height

Technician inspecting a roof anchor.

SafeWork NSW is aiming to further reduce the number of falls from height in the state with a new program to bring the number of injuries Towards Zero.

Falls from height have been one of the largest causes of workplace injuries and death seemingly forever. The repercussions of a fall can be devastating physically, emotionally and financially for the person who fell, their family, colleagues and the community. Everyone deserves to go home safely at the end of each work day.

Over the years, improvements in safety practice and systems have helped to reduce the number of workers who fall from heights.

To increase the pace of these improvements and focus awareness of falls, SafeWork NSW has introduced the Towards Zero Falls From Height program. The program aims to further reduce serious injuries and fatalities resulting from falls from height with the goal of eventually bringing this number to zero.

The numbers

The top three industries that result in falls from height across New South Wales are construction, manufacturing and transport/postal/warehouse industries.

Within these industries, falls from ladders are the most common item from which a worker will fall from, followed by steps and stairways.

For those working in the construction industry, falls from roofs and scaffolding are also common.

Sadly, in the three years to 2017, 26 people lost their lives as a result of falls from height. Of those, eight involved falls from roofs, four from ladders and three from scaffolding.

In the four years 2013 to 2016, there were 12,136 workers compensation claims lodged as a result of falls from height.

On average, each person required around 10 weeks off the job as a result of their fall. The financial cost of these falls was over $320 million.

Although overall, the age ranges of those who suffered a fall from height was relatively even across the age brackets, when it came to those whose falls were, sadly, fatal, the vast majority were over 45 years of age.

Protecting people with systems

At Height Safety Engineers, we are committed to protecting people, especially those working at heights and in high-risk environments.

Our team of designers, estimators and expert advisors assist workers every day by putting together a range of height safety and fall protection systems to protect people working in high-risk fall areas.

Fall protection systems can be made for every building and every situation where someone is at risk of a fall.

On buildings with existing systems it is important to ensure those systems are properly maintained and kept in compliance with the relevant Australian standards and legislation.

Protecting people with training

We also help protect people by providing training to give them the skills they need to stay safe while working at heights.

Safety when working in high-risk areas is about more than just knowing you need to stay away from an edge. Training should also teach workers how to identify where an existing work method or system may be insufficient to protect against risks of injury.

HSE provides a range of workplace safety courses, including work safely at heights, confined space, first aid, CPR and more.

Talk to an expert

When it comes to ensuring those working on your site or in your building are kept safe, it is always best to talk to an expert.

Understanding your responsibilities and where duties of care exist can be complex. There are many legislative, regulatory and standards issues that govern workplace safety.

At Height Safety Engineers, we are passionate about protecting people. Our team is always on hand to answer any safety question you may have and we strive to always provide best practice safety solutions, made perfect.

Call us on 1300 884 978 or email to start your safety journey today.

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