SafeWork SA prompts drivers to watch their step

Falls from vehicles caused 18 serious injuries in South Australia during 2020 with SafeWork South Australia suggesting further training is needed.

According to SafeWork SA five of the injuries were a result of falling from the tray of a vehicle.

SafeWork SA acting executive director Glenn Farrell said employers should adopt safer systems of work, which include a stronger understanding of the Managing the Risk of Falls at Workplaces Code of Practice.

The Code states workers have a duty of care to take responsibility for their actions, and should comply with health and safety protocols given by employers.

It also states that hazardous factors should be identified through a checklist, including protection for open edges, holes, stability of structures and a crowded working area

“Some drivers have the habit of jumping from the tray or cab. This might seem like a short distance, but it takes one bad landing to result in serious injury,” Farrell said.

“When climbing into and the cab or trailer, always use three points of contact at all times. This might take a fraction longer, but these extra steps are worth it when ensuring your physical safety.”

SafeWork SA has encouraged drivers to report damaged equipment to their employers, including steps and handholds, while ensuring correct maintenance.

In 2020, 357 SafeWork SA interventions were reported with 116 serious injuries.

In April, SafeWork SA reported that two of every three falls reported resulted in a fracture, while 95 per cent of serious head and neck injuries occurred from falls less than three metres.

“Falls can occur on all kinds of work sites and to people performing all types of tasks. Employers need to have systems in place to prevent them,” SafeWork SA executive director Martyn Campbell said in April.

“While falls are common and costly, they are also preventable.”

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