Despite the downward trend in the number of falls from height in the UK, this is not the time for complacency said the Ladder Association in response to the HSE’s annual ill health and injury statistics, published on 2 November.
Regardless of a drop in fatalities from 42 in 2014/15 to 37 in 2015/16, falls from height still remain the single biggest cause of fatalities on site and in the workplace. In addition, they also accounted for 5,956 non-fatal injuries over the 12 month period to 31 March 2016.
According to Health and Safety Executive (HSE), three-quarters of fatal injuries in 2015/16 were accounted for by just six different accident types, with falls from height at the top of the league table:
- Falls from height: 37
- Struck by moving vehicle: 27
- Struck by moving object: 15
- Trapped by overturning: 13
- Contact with machinery: 9
- Drowning or asphyxiation: 8
“We seem to have reached something of a watershed,” said the Ladder Association’s Gary Chudleigh. “The long term downward trend shows signs of levelling off, which is why the Association is actively campaigning for more training and better guidance.
“And, of course, we’re actively supporting the HSE’s Help Great Britain Work Well campaign and currently running the tenth successive Ladder Exchange designed to reduce accidents by removing damaged or dodgy ladders from the workplace.”
“We’ve also introduced the Ladder Advocate Scheme to provide expert speakers for seminars and conferences, and we’re backing the Access Industry Forum’s call for a more detailed and meaningful accident reporting system.”
“Finally, throughout 2017, we’ll be supporting the HSE’s construction industry initiative Working Well Together with talks and demonstrations at working at height Safety & Health Awareness Days (SHADs) throughout the country.”