Fall risk through fragile roofs

The purpose of this Safety Alert is to highlight the danger of workers falling from heights through brittle or fragile roofs.


A worker received serious injuries after falling approximately four meters onto a concrete floor.

The worker slipped when assessing damage to the roof of a business in Parap after Cyclone Carlos and fell through a section of fiberglass roof.

The worker was taken to Royal Darwin Hospital and required surgery for the injuries sustained.

Contributing factors

  • No risk assessment was conducted before the commencement of work
  • The roof was wet and slippery
  • The fiberglass roof sheet was in poor condition.

Action required

  • A risk assessment should be conducted before commencing any work to identify all hazards, measures are then to be put in place to eliminate or reduce the risks associated with the identified hazards
  • Thoroughly inspect the roof to determine its strength and condition, including the roof trusses, rafters, purlins and roof battens
  • Identify all areas of fragile roofing such as cement sheeting and fibreglass skylights
  • Fragile roof areas should be marked, and appropriately signed warning people who are accessing the work area
  • Appropriate protective footwear that provides non-slip and flexible grip on the roof surface should be worn.

Further information

Code of Practice


This Safety Alert contains safety information following inquires made by NT WorkSafe about an incident or unsafe practice. The information contained in this Alert does not necessarily include the outcome of NT WorkSafe’s action with respect to an incident. NT WorkSafe does not warrant the information in this Alert is complete or up-to-date and does not accept any liability for the information in this report or as to its use.