SafeWork SA is reminding contractors about the importance of managing risk of falls.

SafeWork SA inspectors recently attended two separate incidents that resulted in serious injuries. Both incidents could have been fatal.

The first incident occurred when a worker fell through polycarbonate roof sheeting while dismantling a shed at a residential property. The worker sustained fractures to their back, ribs and shoulder.

fragile roofing example 1

A second incident occurred when a worker fell through polycarbonate roof sheeting while installing solar panels on a single storey residential house. The worker sustained a fracture to their skull.

Fragile roofing example 2

The fragile roofing material shown in the photos were clearly visible, however no controls were in place to minimise the risk of a fall.

SafeWork SA has previously issued safety alerts for similar incidents in January 2020 and August 2020.

These incidents could have led to fatal injuries and SafeWork SA reminds businesses to be alert to the hazards and risks involved with fragile roof material and ensure that controls are in place to eliminate the risk.

Falls from height continue to be the second leading cause of injury to workers. In 2021, SafeWork SA undertook a compliance campaign on managing risk of falls in residential construction. Of the 97 sites visited, 103 prohibition notices and 83 improvement notices were issued due to poor management of fall risks.

Go to our fragile roofing page for information on risk management controls.

Our four-part educational video series on managing risk of falls provide guidance to manage the risk when working at heights to comply with work health safety responsibilities