In 2015/16 37 people died and nearly 119,000 suffered a serious injury as a result of a fall from height in the workplace. Falls from height are the most common cause of fatal injury, accounting for 26% of all such injuries. The main cause of all falls from height injuries is people falling from ladders. About 20% of of self reported injuries involve slips, trips or falls. * Source, HSE.gov.uk and RIDDOR.
- Ladders – average 515 injuries per year
- Scaffold Towers – average 150 injuries per year
- Work Platforms – average 128 injuries per year
- Vehicles – average 85 injuries per year
- Stairs – 53 average injuries per year
- Fragile roofs – average 52 injuries per year
- Gangways/catwalks – average 39 injuries per year
The most common incidents involve over-reaching, over-balancing, equipment failure, misuse of equipment, unexpected movement (particularly where ladders are involved) and the failure of a fragile surface. Experience shows that these events usually arise due to poor management control rather than because of equipment failure.
A maintenance fitter lost his footing on the second rung of a ladder. His feet slipped through the rungs and he was killed when his head hit the floor as he fell backwards. A window cleaner sustained broken ribs, fingers and a broken arm when he fell 2.3 metres from his ladder whilst cleaning the windows of a show home on a new housing estate. The ladder was not secured or footed; the ground was dry but sloped gently away from the building. The construction company had not produced a method statement and the injured man had received no health and safety induction when he arrived on the site. (Courtesy of the HSE)
TB Davies can help provide more assured ladder and tower safety. Accidents are difficult to predict, but the correct use of the right equipment in the right conditions will help reduce the risk of accidents and injuries from working at height. An effective risk assessment of the work being carried out and the conditions of use will provide a good insight into the risks involved and the health & safety implications.
What is risk assessment?
Put simply, a careful examination of what could harm workers in their activities and what precautions can be taken to reduce/prevent such harm. You are legally required to assess the risks in your workplace.
What is a hazard?
Anything that may cause harm – electricity, working from ladders, chemicals etc.
What is risk?
The chance, high or low that someone will be harmed by the hazard.
The 5-step process
- Look for hazards
- Decide who might be harmed & how
- Evaluate the risks & decide whether existing precautions are adequate or you need to do more
- Record your findings
- Review your assessment and revise if necessary
There is legislation specifically concerning the health & safety of those using access equipment. The Working at Height Regulations 2005 are made under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 – the primary objectives of which are to ensure that all work at height is performed safely. WAHR 2005 requires
- Safe systems of work for organising & performing work at height
- Selecting suitable work equipment to perform work at height
- Eliminating risks working at height
- Preventing falls from work at height
- Protecting those who perform work at height
Get Trained to Work at Height Safely
We are approved by both The Ladder Association and PASMA to conduct training courses at our Lewis Road offices. We will also conduct training at your workplace. Please call for details or visit our Training Academy.