>  Fall Crisis - Independent Review

When a plumber perched on the rooftop of a skyscraper clips a safety harness onto the point that anchors him to the building, there’s a one-in-three chance the anchor itself is unsafe. Remarkably, the installers being held to blame are pleading for greater scrutiny of their work from the regulator.

Australians who maintain roof-top plant like air-conditioners routinely hook their safety harness systems onto roof anchors embedded in a building’s structure. The anchors are designed to prevent, or arrest, falls but of the 3245 roof safety anchors audited by WAHA members over the previous three months, one in three (31 per cent) was deemed unusable.

No formal qualifications are required of installers, who are able to certify and fit compliance plates to their own work.

An expert panel was peppered with questions from the floor in a feisty and sometimes emotional public airing of the severity, causes and consequences of the safety crisis.

Summit facilitator and OHS lawyer, Michael Tooma, asked for a show of hands and received overwhelming support for five statements that WAHA put to policy makers in its call to action today:

  • The safety of Australia’s fall prevention equipment installations must be improved;
  • Compliance with Australian Standards for fall prevention equipment should be compulsory;
  • Formal training for fall prevention equipment installers should be mandatory;
  • Fall prevention equipment installers should be licensed and
  • Regulators should inspect fall prevention equipment

In its submission, WAHA describes a “crisis” not adequately captured by official injury statistics.

The call to action says. “WAHA is concerned that the unsafe installations will result in fatalities and serious compensation claims, if not already, and seeks immediate intervention by the regulator.”

To read the full press release published independently following the Fall Crisis click here


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