Fall restraints for employees in EWPs?

Fall restraints are a major factor in reducing fatalities and serious injuries in employees working with EWPs. Should employers provide fall restraints for workers? The Timber Trade Industrial Association (TTIA) keeps a close eye on legislation and guidelines in the forestry and arbor industries.

Australian Workplace Health and Safety legislation requires the risk of falls to be identified, eliminated, or minimised.

Tasks using equipment such as elevated work platforms require extra attention and need to be assessed by determining:
* The likelihood of a fall and risk of harm to personnel, AND
* The extent of harm and injury a person could incur in the event of a fall.

If it is not reasonably practicable to eliminate the risk, then the risk must be reduced to the lowest level possible by adopting the hierarchy of risk control.

Fall restraints are a major factor in reducing fatalities and serious injuries in employees working with EWPs.

Safe Work Australia has guidelines on working at heights.  It also has a National Code of Practice for the Prevention of Falls in General Construction.

Although these publications are specific to the construction industry, other industries can reference this material.  State and territory WHS authorities also have information on fall prevention.

To stay up to date with industry legislation and safe-work guidelines, log on to the Timber Trade Industrial Association website at ttia.asn.au.

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