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Working at Heights: Why the Risks of Occupational Accidents Still Fall on Builders

  • Written by Alertforce

In most cities and towns, the construction industry is booming, and all you have to do is look around you to figure out why. In addition to new homes going up all around you, businesses are needed as well, and contractors are tasked with building those structures just like they do houses. The trend likely won’t decline any time soon, either.

Unfortunately, there are risks associated with construction workers, and one of the most serious risks involves falls. Because contractors often work at heights, the risk of falling and becoming seriously injured is there all the time, which is why the builders themselves are usually the ones who assume the risk. Not that there aren’t safety rules to decrease the risks, but sometimes they aren’t what is needed to prevent falls.

The Reasons Risks of Occupational Accidents Still Fall on Builders

To determine what to do about reducing construction accidents, you first have to understand why they happen in the first place. Most accidents involving falls happen for one of two reasons: either improper equipment or lack of training about safety issues. It is up to the person in charge to take care of these things.

Your supervisor has to lead the way in helping you get the training that you need and the personal protective equipment that will keep you safe. A good fall arrest system can help and usually consists of two types – general equipment such as nets and personal equipment such as lifelines. Between the right training and the right equipment, you should be a lot safer.

Health and Safety Must Come First

The government usually requires that construction companies provide the right training and the right equipment, but the builders themselves also have to take responsibility. After all, your construction site is only as safe as the competency and alertness of the workers, so they themselves assume the most risk on the job. Working safely at heights also requires practice and experience.

Many times, construction workers have accidents because they are new and inexperienced, causing their risk of falls to be much higher. Indeed, roughly one-third of all workplace accidents involving fatalities happen in the construction industry because the people working to build things are often in high places. This usually involves ladders and scaffolding, things construction projects always need.

How to Prevent Accidents While Working at Height

While it is impossible to eliminate all accidents from happening, you can reduce that number by following a few simple rules. Whether you’re doing electrical work or working with moving objects, you should always apply what was taught during training so that you can reduce the risk of accidents. If you follow the rules every time, having a safe workplace should be easy.

In addition, never work without the proper licence, and this includes your working at heights licence that offers extensive training on what you should and should not do. You should also apply what you learned from the beginning to the end of the project, not just the first time, but every time. This always reduces the chance of a serious construction site accident happening.

Things to Remember If You Work at Height

Also, keep in mind that these accidents can be quite serious, even involving fatal injuries, so it’s crucial that you get the training and use the equipment you need to stay safe. If you went through a registered training organization (RTO), you likely have the training required to do your job safely. If you didn’t, you may need additional training through your employer.

With the right materials and equipment, not to mention adequate training, work-related accidents can be reduced from year to year. Depending on how high up you are working, the government sets certain regulations that include things such as edge protection, catch platforms, and travel restraint systems, to name a few. They identify the risks first, then put these measures into place so that everyone is safer.

Why Is All of This Important?

Staying safe on the job is important for many reasons, and one of them is that the injuries you receive from falls can be severe. These can be life-altering injuries, which means it is always worth the effort you put into getting the proper training and using the right equipment. After all, just because the accident didn’t kill you doesn’t mean everything is alright.


It may sound complex to keep yourself safe at your construction job, but the risks in a construction site are present every day that you are, which is important to remember. You don’t have to be on the very top of a tall building to work at height, because even a ladder can do you harm. It’s just a matter of knowing what to do before you start your project.

Through the government, builders and project management teams can learn what they need to know to keep themselves safer on the job. Although builders usually assume most of the risks associated with falls and other accidents, you can greatly reduce those risks with a little knowledge and some top-notch equipment. A little bit goes a long way in helping prevent injuries and saving lives.

Whether you’re the supervisor or one of the workers, job safety is everyone’s business, which means you must do your part as well. Safety on the job only works when everyone participates because this is the most efficient way to reduce work-related accidents. It simply doesn’t work any other way.

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