BSG Working at Height

Working at height the most significant danger to construction workers

  • 19 May 2017

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Working at height is still the most significant danger to construction workers on site, a report by the Building Safety Group has found.

The report, which used the combined results of over 20,000 site inspections in 2016, found that working at height accounted for 19 per cent of all breaches recorded. 

Out of 24,634 non-compliances logged by safety advisors throughout last year, dust/fumes was the second most significant hazard, accounting for 5 per cent of non-compliances.

The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) recently published statistics echoing the BSG’s figures, showing that, despite an overall drop in fatalities, falls from height still remain the biggest cause of death on construction sites and in the workplace.

Since 2012, falls from height have been responsible for 97 deaths in the industry, accounting for 45 per cent of all fatal injuries. They are also the largest single cause of non-fatal accident related injury, responsible for 33 per cent all non-fatal injuries, including 11 per cent of the injuries resulting in an absence of more than seven days.

According the Building Safety Group’s Technical Manager, Chris Chapman, the three main sources of falls from height injuries and fatalities are fragile roof lights, scaffolding and ladders, which are accidents that can be easily prevented:  

“Working at Height is clearly the most dangerous activity carried out in the construction sector. Everyone can do more to ensure that work is properly planned, supervised and conducted by qualified workers who have the required skills for the task in hand.

“To significantly reduce the dangers of working at height, construction companies should always try to complete as much work as possible from the ground, ensure safe access and egress and importantly, make certain that any equipment used is suitable, stable and strong enough for the job.”

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