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Rigger falls from height

fall from height

The NSW Resources Regulator has reported a fall from height incident. A rigger had completed lift activities and was dismounting a scaffold. While climbing onto the ladder, the rigger ducked under a handrail, missed the first step and fell three metres to the ground. The rigger was not wearing any fall protection equipment.

The Regulator said: “mine operators must ensure that there are effective controls in place to manage the risk of falls while climbing on and off scaffolding ladders. All workers, who install or work on scaffolding, should be familiar with site scaffolding procedures. This should include design and construction requirements and necessary safety equipment, such as fall protection equipment.”

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A worker at a quarry in NSW had a lucky escape when he fell from an access platform that was being constructed. According to reports, the worker was not wearing fall protection at the time of the incident. A fall from height is a known cause of workplace fatalities across Australia.

The NSW Resources Regulator has once again alerted the industry to work at heights risk in a safety bulletin. The regulator said that the “hazards of working at heights and the appropriate use of working at heights equipment was highlighted when a quarry worker fell more than 7 m during the construction of a guardrail on a conveyor gantry.”

“The worker involved was not wearing working at heights equipment at the time of the incident.” the regulator said.

The regulator outlined the scenario leading up to the incident.

At 3.15pm on Tuesday 25 September 2018 two quarry workers were completing the construction of an access platform and guardrails onto a sand conveyor gantry.

The workers were on a platform at the end of the conveyor gantry. One worker had just tack welded the final two horizontal bars of galvanised steel guard rail. As they repositioned themselves on the walkway, the second worker put his hand out onto the top guard rail which had just been tacked into position.

The weld holding the top guard rail failed. The second worker fell from the conveyor gantry taking both the top and mid guard rails with him. The worker fell 7.3 metres and landed horizontally face down into a 200 mm deep sand pile adjacent to an elevated work platform (EWP) basket. The second worker suffered a cut nose but was conscious, winded and in shock.

The worker was admitted to hospital overnight and was released the next day.

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AMSJ April 2022