WorkCover NSW is investigating an incident at a construction site in South Sydney after a male worker fell five floors down the outside of an elevator shaft, suffering serious injuries.
Initial reports indicate that the worker was working on a scaffold stripping formwork from the outside of the elevator shaft when he fell to the ground.
The worker was transported to St George Hospital in a serious condition, and WorkCover said it will conduct a thorough investigation into the incident as well as an assessment of safety at the site.
The incident was a reminder of the risks of working from heights with scaffolding, according to John Watson, general manager of WorkCover NSW's work health and safety division.
"Working from heights can be dangerous and, as this incident highlights, a fall can result in serious injury or death," he said.
WorkCover NSW recommended the following safety measures to prevent falls from heights when working on scaffolding:
- Select and install suitable scaffolding for the task
- Ensure scaffolding is correctly tied to the building, allowing for access by tradespersons and various weather conditions
- Do not overload scaffolding with excessive amounts of materials and equipment
- Appoint a scaffold coordinator to manage scaffold use by subcontractors
- Use a competent person properly accredited to erect and dismantle the scaffold if it is greater than four metres
- Make sure everyone on site using the scaffold is properly trained and supervised.
WorkCover also said the erection and dismantling of scaffolding must be carried out in accordance with AS/NZS 1576.1:1995 Scaffolding, Part 1 General requirements and WorkCover's industry safety standard Erecting, altering and dismantling scaffolding, Part 1 -Prefabricated steel modular scaffolding.