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Alert 16 - Falling objects

This alert is to highlight the importance of managing the risk to health and safety of falling objects.


Recent incident reporting has highlighted the need for duty holders to review their risk control measures for managing the potential for objects to fall onto or hit parties, at the workplace, or adjoining areas including footpaths, roads or dwellings.

Safety issues

Equipment, material, tools or debris can fall or be released causing injury or damage where examples may include:

  • Free falling object from a structure; for instance, from scaffolding without adequate physical barriers
  • An object falling from machinery or caused to fall from use; for instance, from a load being lifted without netting
  • An object ejected while using machinery or tools; for instance, waste ejected from a demolition process
  • Collapse of an unstable structure; for instance, unstable shelving or a pallet stack collapsing

Control measures

Duty holders must seek to eliminate risk so far is reasonably practicable. Where elimination is not achievable, the risks must be minimised so far as reasonably practicable.  Measures to address risk might include due consideration of:

  • A system to arrest falling objects
  • Use of isolation zones
  • Training and supervision
  • Use of personal protective equipment

For more information on work health and safety risks

Model Code of Practice – How to manage work health and safety risks

Model Code of Practice – Construction work

Model Code of Practice – Demolition work

Model Code of Practice – Excavation work

PDF version available: Safety alert Falling objects [104KB]


Page last updated: 26 Feb 2019