Businesses that do a lot of working from height should ensure they carry out regular risk assessments for the work and have robust rescue and emergency response plans in place in case an accident happens.
Construction is one of the most dangerous sectors in the UK and accidents sadly aren’t uncommon. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has just prosecuted a company, based in Bristol, after one of its workers fell more than six metres from some scaffolding and had to be in an induced coma for two weeks.
An investigation into the incident, which occurred during June last year, found that the member of staff in question was untrained, the supervisor wasn’t familiar with current safety techniques and the appropriate equipment hadn’t been provided, so the job could be undertaken in a safe manner.
The employee suffered serious injuries, including five fractures to his skull. He also lost the sight in his right eye.
“We want all workers to go home healthy and safe. Those in control of work have a responsibility to ensure safe methods of working are used and to inform, instruct and train their workers in their use. If industry recognised safe systems of erecting scaffold had been in place prior to the incident, the life changing injuries sustained by the employee could have been prevented,” Inspector, Ian Whittles commented.
Recent figures from the HSE actually show that falls from height are the second most common cause of fatal accidents in the workplace, so making this a priority where relevant is a must for all companies, big and small.