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Working at height still biggest danger in construction industry



Working at height remains the most significant hazard on a building site according to a survey carried out by the Building Safety Group.

The report was based on the findings of over 2,000 site inspections carried out last year, with working at height accounting for 19% of all incidents recorded.

The total number of incidents in 2016 logged by safety officers was 24,634, with the second biggest breach of regulations coming in the shape of dust/fumes at 5%.

The results follow a similar pattern to latest figures on the construction industry published by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), which placed falls from height as the biggest single cause of fatalities in the workplace, despite a drop in the overall numbers.

On the last five years, 97 construction workers were killed, accounting for 45% of all fatal injuries.

Falls from height were also the number one cause of non-fatal accident related injury, responsible for 33% all non-fatal injuries, including 11% of the injuries resulting in an absence of more than seven days.

The report also revealed that the three main causes of falls from height injuries and fatalities are fragile roof lights, scaffolding and ladders – all of which are easily preventable.

Building Safety Group’s Technical Manager, Chris Chapman, commented: “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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