Briefing paper

Falling objects fact sheet

7 Feb 2012

This fact sheet provides general guidance for persons conducting a business or undertaking and workers on managing risks to health and safety posed by falling objects.

Objects have the potential to fall onto or hit people at the workplace or adjoining areas if precautions are not taken. Adjoining areas could include a public footpath, road, square or the yard of a dwelling or other building beside a workplace. Equipment, material, tools and debris that can fall or be released sideways or upwards are also considered falling objects.

Examples include:

  • an object free falling from a structure, such as: −−roof scaffolding, tools, rock, soil and bricks −−fixtures including pictures, ceiling panels and white boards that have not been securely fixed, and −−materials that fall from over-stacked shelving.
  • an object free falling from lifting machinery, a vehicle or other plant equipment, including loads being lifted that are not well secured or are unstable
  • an object or material ejected while using machinery or hand tools
  • the collapse of an unstable structure including shelves, benches and mezzanine floors not strong enough to bear the weight of the objects kept on them.
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