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Lately on the Trade Risk Facebook page we’ve been posting pictures of some fairly questionable workplace practices.

Whilst these pics are kind of amusing to look at, you can’t escape the fact that there is some incredibly risky behaviour going on.

Of course the best course of action by far is to not engage in any high risk behaviour on the worksite, but if you have to, then at least have the right insurance in place in case something does go wrong.

Here’s a couple of recent pictures we’ve shared for your viewing delight / horror!

Plank and milk crate

This picture demonstrates the classic case of not having the right equipment for the job.

The first thing you’ll notice is the milk crate being used to hold up the second plank. So the guy needs a longer ladder to replace the blue one right?

But hang on a minute, check out the big ladder! He’s using an extension ladder to hold up a plank. I can’t even tell how it is secured.

There are so many things wrong with this picture, and the risk level should be seen as too high for any tradie who plans on staying uninsured.

If something was to fail in this setup, or if the tradesman was simply to lose his balance, he’d be looking at a decent fall.

At best he’s probably going to cause an injury to his wrists when he tries to break his fall. At worst he’s going to suffer a head injury if he falls awkwardly.

Double ladder

Here we have a similar case of the wrong equipment for the job.

It may well be relatively steady up there, but looking at the second step ladder, I don’t think it would take much to fall if the tradie started to get the wobbles.

The fall height is not huge, but he could still be looking at wrist or arm injuries as he tried to break his fall.

As with the previous picture, there is still the potential for a head injury to occur if he was to fall awkwardly and couldn’t use his limbs to break the fall.

Scissor life, stairs and plank

This one is just insane. There is no other word for it.

In this case we have some serious equipment in the form of a scissor lift, but the way it’s being used it quite unorthodox to say the least!

If this plasterer was to lose his balance and fall the chance of serious injury is very high. Broken limbs would be a given, and a spinal injury would be very possible as well.

Out of all three pictures this is the one that has the highest chance of resulting in the worst outcome, which is a workplace death.

Getting the job done…

There is a train of thought among some tradies, as we have seen on our Facebook page, that the people pictured are simply doing what it takes to “get the job done”.

As Australians, and as tradesmen in particular, we like to think of ourselves as an enterprising bunch who solve problems in innovative ways.

But there’s a difference between being resourceful and taking unnecessary risks.

As well as thinking that we’re resourceful problem solvers we also tend to think that we’re bulletproof, especially those of us who are a little younger.

But serious workplace accidents happen every day, and sadly many tradies die on construction sites every year.

Is it really worth risking your life just to save having to drive down to the hire depot to pick up a longer ladder or whatever is required?

Don’t take unnecessary risks on the worksite. Construction sites are dangerous enough as it is.

Stay safe guys.

For more information about construction site safety please check out the following links:

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