The recent compliance program audit relating to managing the risk of falls in residential construction resulted in SafeWork SA inspectors issuing 102 prohibition “stop-work” notices and 83 improvement notices.

The audits found that 75 per cent of solar panel installers were working on a first or second storey pitched roof without any controls in place to minimise the risk of a fall.

SafeWork SA has published new information and guidance on managing risk of falls for solar panel installations as an education tool for installers.

Falls from heights remains the number one cause of notifiable serious injuries on South Australian construction sites, with most serious and fatal falls being from roofs, ladders or non-compliant scaffolds.

The SafeWork SA 2021 Health and Safety Snapshot relating to falls from heights identified that workers on a roof received the most serious injuries.

SafeWork SA Executive Director Martyn Campbell said ‘Solar retailers and installers have duties under work health and safety laws to ensure workers are safe when installing rooftop solar panels’.

‘Managing falls follows a hierarchy of controls that start with eliminating the risks of falling from edges, through skylights or brittle roofing surfaces,’ he said.

‘The installation of temporary edge protection or scaffolding is reasonably practicable and is typically considered the best protection when working at heights.’