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HSE SEEK WORK-HOME LINK TO REDUCE FALL DEATH-INJURY

Construction long term safety plan looks to engage wider society

An HSE review of accident data for the last decade has revealed:

  • falls from height continue to account for the majority of fatal accidents in construction;
  • since the 1990’s there has been some substantial improvement in methods of work and equipment e.g . the use of powered access in steel erection, nets in industrial roofing, demolition by machine rather than handballing, systems of work and equipment in scaffold erection and dismantling; and
  • it is now shorter duration work and falls through fragile roofs that are the main causes of fatal and major injuries in the sector. However, there are no clear trends in terms of trades or activities which could be targeted to “bring about the sorts of improvements achieved previously”.

In addition, the majority of persons injured during these falls are in the ‘hard to reach’ category and their activities are often on the fringes between construction and maintenance work and “do it yourself”.

Broader approach recommended

Construction Industry Advisory Committee (CONIAC) working group has therefore recommended a broader approach which promotes protection for anyone working at height whether at work or not.

HSE has identified that this approach will have to challenge perception and management of risk across the population without attracting charges of “nanny state” or “elf and safety gone mad” response.

The messages will need to be tailored to three key groups Supervisors, Clients, Workers’ and their families.

Comment

This approach may be a way of solving the ‘Heineken Problem’ of reaching the parts other techniques cannot reach!

In the commercial sector there is always a client with duties under the CDM Regulations 2007. This is probably the best place to start.

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