On 28 April 2016, we celebrated Steel Safety Day. Established by the World Steel Association in 2014, Steel Safety Day is aligned with the World Day for Safety and Health at Work. The aim of creating a day specifically for the steel industry is to draw attention to those safety risks that affect the steel industry more than most. These have been identified as:
- Moving machinery
- Falling from height
- Falling objects
- Gas & asphyxiation
- Overhead cranes
One of these five causes is highlighted each year and in 2016, Steel Safety Day focuses on ‘Falling from Height’. Falls are a major cause of death and serious injury across Australian workplaces. Fall hazards can be found in many work environments and some of the most serious falls occur when working at a height of less than 3 metres.
Controlling the Risks
Business owners have specific obligations under Australian Workplace regulations to manage the risk of falls, an obligation that is taken very seriously across the steel industry where working at height is commonplace. To control risks, policies are put in place that cover the three main aspects of fall risk management.
Identify fall hazards
- Are work surfaces and edges fragile, unstable, sloping or slippery?
- Are there trenches, lift shafts or service pits that workers could fall into?
Assess the risks of a fall
- What could happen if someone falls?
- How likely is it that a fall will occur?
- Will weather conditions affect the likelihood of a fall occurring?
Key three steps to reduce the hazard
Elimination, Prevention and Protection are the most effective ways to reduce the risks of fall hazards. The World Steel Association has produced a useful infographic as part of its Lock Safety In campaign that highlights ways the steel industry can reduce fall hazards, drawing on the three steps of:
- ELIMINATION: Can the need to work at height be avoided completely?
- PREVENTION: Can the risk be minimised by providing prevention measures such as guard rails, fixed ladders or improving lighting or bright signage to increase visibility of risk hazard?
- PROTECTION: If the risk is unavoidable, there are a range of personal protection methods that have been proved to dramatically reduce fall hazards, including wearing a safety harness and using lanyards, life lines and anchor points.
ShapeCUT’s approach to Safety
Once systems are in place to prevent falls from height, it’s essential that the risk controls are maintained. At ShapeCUT, we’ve developed a range of work safety procedures unique to our laser steel profile cutting business.
At our processing facility on the outskirts of Brisbane, we’ve been able to eliminate many of the risks associated with ‘Falling from Height’. On Steel Safety Day, we communicated the importance of our safety systems across our organisation. As Queensland’s largest privately owned metal processing firm operating ten different profile cutting machines, it’s vital that our operators, who are working with oxy fuel, high def plasma and laser cutting equipment are working in a safe environment.
At ShapeCUT, we can cater to bulk, one-off and small scale orders. Contact us today to learn more about the benefits we can bring to your profile cutting needs.