Fall from Scaffold – Incident Alert


A 48 year old male worker fell approximately 5.7 metres from the top deck of a mobile scaffold he was dismantling on a residential site in Sydney. He sustained serious head injuries and later died as a result of these injuries. This is the 8th serious incident in NSW this year that has involved scaffold or is a result of a fall from height.


Image of the scaffold structure on the site of the incident.


The investigation

  • SafeWork NSW inspectors responded to the incident.
  • SafeWork NSW commenced an investigation to determine the cause and circumstances of the incident.

Safety information

Each year SafeWork NSW responds to incidents where workers are injured falling from a height. Most of these incidents involve falls from scaffolds, roofs, ladders, through open penetrations and from unprotected edges.

Consider reasonably practicable control measures to manage the risk of falling from a mobile scaffold. Ensure:

  • The scaffold is suitable for the task and set up on a firm, level foundation.
  • A copy of the manufacturer’s assembly instructions is available and instructions are followed.
  • All required components are installed, including guardrails, toeboards, diagonal bracing and internal access.
  • The components are inspected before assembly and in good condition.
  • The workers assembling the scaffold are competent and hold a high risk work scaffolding licence (if a person or object could fall more than four metres from the scaffold deck).
  • Site specific risks are identified, communicated to workers and controlled.
  • A safe work method statement is prepared for all high-risk construction work Additionally, for mobile scaffolds that remain on the same work site for more than 30 days:
  • Regularly inspect assembled scaffolds to determine whether all components are present, correctly installed and in good condition.
  • Implement a process for replacing faulty components and/or removing the scaffold from service if found to be defective.

Further information

Refer to the following guidance materials: