The Danger of Dropped Objects at Mine Sites

25 June 2019

Dropped objects are a major cause of injury at mine sites. Whether it’s loose light fixtures, misplaced equipment, tools, scaffolding equipment, falling debris or one of many other number of potential risks, it is good practice to be cogent of the dangers that dropped objects present in the workplace.

According to Safe Work Australia, falling objects were the second largest workplace killer between 2010-2014, resulting in 125 workplace fatalities and over 15,000 serious compensations claims.

International drop-prevention company Dropsafe has provided safety solutions for dropped objects in major industries for over 20 years. The company specialises in the manufacture of dropped prevention technology to help mitigate the risk of objects falling from height and to secure equipment to keep workers safe when in the workplace.

Dropsafe’s primary client base includes the mining, offshore and onshore oil and gas, marine and heavy industrial including power stations, all of which are high-risk industries that pose a significant threat of dropped object risk in the workplace.

Corrosion caused by harsh environments and high-impact vibratory activities like drilling can result in falling fixtures. Human factors are another common cause, such as when workers fail to adequately secure fixtures during inspections or repairs.

According to Dropsafe’s global business development manager Gareth Warne, many accidents can be avoided by ensuring adequate safety measures are implemented at the installation or maintenance phase.

“Worksites are generally getting safer but companies shouldn’t become complacent,” he says.

“Implementing safety measures to prevent dropped and falling objects saves lives, time and money. It is much more efficient to be proactive and install drop prevention barriers along the inside of open guard railing at height and other dropped prevention measures from the very beginning.”

The Australian Government implemented legislation regarding dropped object impacts in its 2011 Work Health and Safety Regulations, formalising the rules concerning implementing safety measures related to falling objects.

According to these regulations, “A person conducting a business or undertaking at a workplace must manage, in accordance with Part 3.1 [Managing risks to health and safety], risks to health and safety associated with an object falling on a person if the falling object is reasonably likely to injure the person.”

Dropsafe’s purpose is to mitigate these safety risks with its product portfolio, which emphasises ease of installation and ease of use.

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