Falls from height remain one of the most common causes of work-related death and injury in Australia.
According to Safe Work Australia, from mid-2003 to mid-2011, 232 Australian workers were killed following a fall from height. More than a quarter of these workers fell from roofs or ladders. Many of those who died received traumatic head injuries – including those who fell from a height of only one metre.
Serious and tragic as they are, workplace deaths are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the dangers of working from height. In just one year, from 2010 to 2011, nearly 8,000 claims for serious injury resulting from a fall from height were lodged. On average, these injured workers had to take more than six weeks off work.
What can be done?
In light of these grim statistics, many business, government and commercial property owners and managers are responding to the need to better manage the risk of death and injury for workers – especially maintenance workers and groundsmen working at height to maintain your property.
Your property’s roof and gutters are a key area for at-height maintenance, so reducing the need for your workers to do work such as gutter cleaning is an important step towards managing these risks.
This approach is in line with WorkSafe Victoria’s recommendation that employers should, where possible, “redesign the workplace or the work task to minimise the need for people to do the work… at height”.
One recognised way to significantly reduce gutter cleaning requirements – and thus the need to work at height – is to install the appropriate gutter mesh for your building.
How gutter mesh helps
Gutter mesh keeps leaves, vermin and debris out of your building’s gutters. This prevents clogged gutters and downpipes and the expensive flood damage that can accompany them.
It also significantly reduces the need for at-height gutter maintenance and cleaning, as most leaves are kept out of your gutters, and blow or slide off your mesh.
Depending on your property and the type of vegetation and foliage surrounding it, your staff may currently need to clean your gutters bi-annually, quarterly, monthly or even fortnightly. By installing gutter mesh, you can significantly reduce the frequency of gutter cleaning around your property to better protect your employees and improve your workplace occupational health and safety.
Blue Mountain Co has worked with several schools, universities and commercial buildings to identify the right gutter mesh to improve occupational health and safety and reduce the need for staff to constantly work at height to clean gutters around the property.
Before the University of Southern Queensland in Toowoomba installed 2mm Steel gutter mesh around their campus, maintenance staff were cleaning gutters fortnightly on some buildings.
Similarly, falling leaf debris at The Southport School meant maintenance staff were cleaning gutters up to six times a year before they installed our 4mm steel gutter mesh.
In both these cases, gutter mesh helped to improve occupational health and safety by reducing gutter cleaning frequency.
Get gutter mesh recommendations today
Occupational health and safety is an important responsibility for all building owners and managers.
Installing the right gutter mesh to reduce at-height gutter maintenance tasks is one key way to improve occupational health and safety for your maintenance staff and groundsmen.
Of course, for best results, you need to select mesh that’s been matched to your building’s location, design, environment and risks.
To make this as easy as possible, Blue Mountain Co Gutter Mesh has developed Mesh Matcher. This easy-to-use tool asks 6 simple questions and uses your answers to recommend the right mesh or meshes for your building. Try the Mesh Matcher today.