Home' Australian Govlink : Issue 2 2015 Contents FACT: 50% of all the yearly workplace
fatalities that occur from falls from heights
are from 3 metres or less
Carrying out work at any height can be dangerous!
Shocking as the above statistic is,
another figure that is equally of
concern is that 31% of all fatal falls
are from heights of 2 metres or less.
These statistics emphasise that
every workplace needs to be aware
that work at height, any height,
should always be carried out with
the highest regard to worker
protection. Falls from ladders
constitute approximately 16% of the
total number of yearly fatalities.
Over-reaching, attempting to carry
out heavy, inappropriate tasks while
on a ladder, or merely failing to
secure and properly set up ladders,
are all contributory factors towards
these accidents. Do you have
controls in place to ensure your
workers are using ladders safely?
According to Worksafe Victoria,
utilising a ladder for work at heights
is the least preferred option. Ladders
should only be used once the task
has been analysed, a risk
assessment conducted and other
alternatives have been discounted.
When is working at heights on a
A ladder may be used:
• when performing minor
maintenance on items or fixtures
near the eaves or ceiling of a small
building or structure, ie changing
light bulbs, cleaning gutters or
• when pruning and maintenance of
trees and shrubs is required and
where access by other means may
• while loading, unloading and
inspecting goods is being carried
out and given the particular
circumstances other means may
not be possible or practical;
• where cleaning, maintenance and
inspection duties are being
conducted in areas where there is
limited space and it is not feasible
to use another form of access.
Correct preparation when using
ladders is essential.
When using ladders it is paramount
to ensure that the ladder has been
set up safely and securely and the
ladder must always be placed on a
solid and stable surface. How do you
further ensure worker safety?
• Check the ladder. Does it have
• Ensure that the ladder is at a slope
of four to one.
• Make sure step ladders are fully
• Secure the top and bottom of
single and extension ladders
• Ensure the ladder extends above
the top exit point by a minimum
In the case of fixed ladders, the
addition of cages, platforms and cable
line systems can all assist in mitigating
the risk to an acceptable standard.
What are the correct ways to use
When using a ladder:
• always secure the ladder against
slippage by installing a ladder sup-
port bracket or ladder tie off points
• always face the ladder when
ascending or descending.
• inspect the work area and make
sure that there is no chance of the
ladder being knocked. If
necessary, isolate the area from
access by other personnel.
• do not over-reach, as this may
cause the ladder to tip sideways.
• always have two hands free when
climbing up and down.
• ensure that there is no work being
carried out underneath the ladder.
What other factors need to be
considered when using ladders?
Regular inspections must be
carried out on all ladders that are
being used. Any splits, twists, cracks,
missing or loose fixings need to be
repaired or replaced.
Above all else, it is your
responsibility to ensure that your
workplace is giving your workers the
safest environment possible.
Why not read our recently released
whitepaper “Height Safety – It’s
Everyone’s Business” to find out
more about your responsibilities.
At all times you must be complying
with the necessary standards, codes
and guidelines applicable to the
systems that you have installed.
At Sayfa we pride ourselves on
being able to assist you in providing
your workers with compliant and
user friendly roof access and fall
arrest equipment. We ARE the
market leaders in height safety. We
ARE dedicated to making your
We save lives
– can you say the same?
Contact the team at Sayfa on
1300 301 755 or email@example.com.
For more information visit our
website at www.sayfa.com.au.
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