There has been an increase in the number of work health and safety incidents reported to DHA involving slips, trips and falls. An increase in these types of WHS incidents has involved the hazard of uneven ground or surface.
Uneven ground or surface, particularly pebbled walk ways and/or driveways at DHAs properties pose a serious risk to the health and safety of our workers in the event of a slip, trip or fall. Issues associated with uneven ground may include:
- Depressions in the hard ground under a pebble bed or raised pavers are not visually apparent in some cases.
- Pebbles or rocks are not secured from movement, ie, rounded edges, loose fill structure, etc.
- A slight rise in pavers may not be visually apparent.
- Poor lighting can conceal uneven surfaces to a pebbled or paved surface.
All of these hazards associated with uneven ground or surfaces increase the risk of a slip, trip or fall, which may result in physical injury such as sprained ankle(s), fractured wrist(s), abrasions and bruising. The attached fact sheet helps to identify the root causes of these types of WHS incidents as well as providing advice on how to minimise the risk of slips, trips or falls occurring.
Slip, trip and fall incidents are generally preventable. Please take notice of this Safety Alert and take all reasonable steps to protect your health and safety when performing work at a DHA work location.
Before starting work at a DHA property or worksite, conduct a risk assessment of the work area to identify potential hazards associated with uneven ground or surface. Consider these questions:
- What is the type of flooring at this property and what are the associated risks or hazards?
- Have previous risks, hazards or concerns been reported at this property or location?
- Am I wearing appropriate footwear for the work activity?
- If I identify a risk or hazard at this property, do I understand how to document this for future risk assessments?
- Conduct a risk assessment before starting work at a DHA work location.
- Where a risk or hazard has been identified at a property or work location (particularly uneven ground), this should be documented in DHA’s housing management system (HSM).
- Take extra care when walking on pebbled or paved surfaces, tread cautiously, do not walk quickly.
- Look for depressions or raised areas over a pebbled or paved surface.
- Assess the walk way while stationary then move forward after identifying any changes in the pebbled or paved surface and taking evasive steps.
- Do not walk backwards (particularly when taking photos) as this increased the chances of slip, trip or fall.
- Report all incidents or near miss events to DHA’s WHS Team by telephone on 02 - 6270 6060 option 3 or via email to email@example.com.