Being Hit by a Falling Object was the most common cause of work-related fatalities between 1 July 2010 and 30 June 2011 in Australia, accounting for 21 of the total 137 recorded working deaths. (source Safe Work Australia). In 08/09 being Hit by a Falling Object was the fourth leading mechanism of incident of injury. Other common causes were Falls from Height which caused 19 deaths in 2010/11.
Unfortunately, we’re off to a bad start for 2011/2012 statistics, with nine fatalities attributed to being Hit by a Falling Object in the latest Notified Fatalities Report released by Safe Work Australia in January. The good news is that working fatalities have dropped overall for the same period. Last year their were 61 recorded, this year that figure has fallen slightly to 56.
In compensation claims for fatalities during 2008 – 2009 period, Falls from Heights accounted for 20% of claims while being Hit by Falling Objects accounted for 10% of total claims with 16 fatalities.
The term “Mechanism of Injury or Disease” is used to describe the action, exposure or event that was the direct cause of the most serious injury or disease claims recorded. The percentage of claims for the 2008 – 2009 year were Falls from Height 6.8%, being Hit by Moving Objects 4.6% and being Hit by Falling Objects 3.5%. These figures have shown little movement over the past 6 years despite greater public awareness and fantastic developments in tooling safety options. At Pro 3 Products we believe this is partially because there still remains an element of human error in the actions leading to these incidents. Our aim is to isolate the energy source, in this case gravity, from the dropped or fallen object by providing adequate barrier protection and therefore preventing the object from falling further than the current work surface. Our product also prevents people climbing on or leaning through handrails.
For a more in depth or detailed look at workplace injuries and statistics try the Safe Work Australia website. They compile a very comprehensive list of workplace safety statistics which are released on a regular basis, with their Annual Summary released around January called Key Work Health & Safety Statistics, Australia 2011.