Identifying fall hazards and risk assessment | Haz-Ed

Identifying fall hazards and risk assessment

5 June 2023

At Haz-ed we’re committed to the safety of our clients. We want to help our clients in their duty to ensure their employees are not exposed to hazards at the workplace. At Haz-ed we recommend implementing a risk management process that will identify hazards and assess and control risks. Below are steps we consider when undertaking a risk assessment identification check list.

Identify the risk

The first step in this process is to take a good look around your workplace and recognise the things that may cause injury or harm to a person. This could be a particular area or an object in your workplace. The team at Haz-ed recognise this task can be quite overwhelming. Which is why we recommend breaking down your workplace into key checking areas.

What are the surfaces like?

  1. Are they stable, fragile, brittle or slippery?
  2. Do the surfaces change throughout the workplace?
  3. How strong is the surface and what weight can the surface handle?

What are the levels like?

  1. Check where levels change and your workers may be exposed to a fall from one level to another.
  2. Does the surface slope? Check to see where levels change and workers may be exposed to a fall from one level to another.
  3. Is the ground even? Check the stability of the ground to see if it’s safe to support scaffolding or a work platform?


  1. What is the stability of both temporary and permanent structures in the workplace?

Working areas

  1. Is the work area crowded or cluttered?
  2. Check both entry and exit of working area.


  1. What is the protection for open edges of floors, working platforms, walkways, walls or roofs?

Holes, openings or excavations

  1. If these hazards exist they will require guarding

Hand grip

  1. Is the appropriate hand grip in place, where an employees grip may be lost?

Assess the risk

At Haz-ed we understand that assessing the risks in your workplace is often easier said than done. However, taking the time will help you to determine what could happen if a fall did occur, as well at the likelihood of it happening. It will also help you to identify the severity of the risk and whether a preventative measure could have been put in place. At Haz-ed we recommend taking the following steps when assessing and analysing risks.

  1. Where, which and how many employees are likely to be at risk of incurring injuries?
  2. How often is the hazard likely to occur?
  3. How severe are the injuries likely to be?

We recommend the following:

When undertaking a risk assessment, our team at Haz-ed recommend that you should consider the following:

  • Check the layout and design of elevated work areas, including the distance of a potential fall.
  • Be aware of the activities that employees undertake and where they move around in the workplace.
  • Know how close workers get to unsafe areas, especially where loads are placed on elevated working areas.
  • Check there is adequate lighting for clear vision in the work space.
  • Ensure inspection and maintenance is undertaken of plant and equipment.
  • Check if weather conditions could create a slippery surface in the workplace.
  • Are employees wearing the appropriate footwear?
  • Check the suitability and condition of ladders. As well as where and how they are they are being used in the workplace.
  • Are employees qualified to undertake tasks safely within the workplace?
  • Always ensure staff have proper safety training.
  • Is there enough knowledge of potential emergency situations around the workplace?

Control the riskIdentify Risks Climb

The next step in hazard prevention in your workplace is to action some control measures. At Haz-ed we recommended monitoring and reviewing these measures on a regular basis.

  • Design, plan and modifying workspace, buildings and structures to prevent falls. (For example Install proper preventable devices like guard rails).
  • Provide a fall prevention device or a work positioning system such as an industrial rope access systems.
  • Alternatively provide a fall arrest system which may include the use of safety harnesses from an elevated platform.
  • Look at the way jobs can be done safely to eliminate or reduce the likelihood of a fall.
  • Carry out any work that involves the risk of a fall on the ground.
  • Organise and schedule work so that people do not interfere with or increase the risk of a fall for themselves or other employees.
  • Make sure all employees have the proper training to work safely

Related Course: Work safely at heights training course

It’s also recommend that your chosen control measures are checked regularly to remain effective. At Haz-ed we advise monitoring the purpose, suitable nature and duration of the work and all check safety measures are installed and used correctly by employees.

We recommend the following:

  1. Develop work procedures on how to install, use and maintain the control measures.
  2. Provide information, training and instruction to employees, including procedures for emergency and rescue.
  3. Make sure workers exposed to a risk of a fall are adequately supervised by a competent person.

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