The HSE recently published the health and safety stats for non-fatal injuries incidents reported by employers under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR) and from self-reports obtained through the annual Labour Force Survey (LFS).
Looking back, in 2013/14 falls from height accounted for nearly three in ten (29%) fatal injuries to workers (RIDDOR). Common cases included falls from ladders and through fragile surfaces.
Last year 2015/2016, 144 workers were killed as a result of a workplace accident (RIDDOR) of which a fall from a height made up 26% of fatal accidents.
About half of fatal fall injuries to workers were in construction, other industries with high numbers of fatal fall injuries were agriculture admin and support and manufacturing.
Despite the fact that the HSE’s annual stats show that there has been a downward trend in the number of falls from height, falls from height still remain the single biggest cause of fatal injuries in the workplace. In addition to fatalities falls from height also accounted for 5,956 non-fatal injuries from April 2015 to March 2016.
Falls From Height in January 2017 Alone
In January alone there have already been 5 prosecutions due to failures in health and safety which caused injuries or deaths from falls from height.
Rochdale roofing contractor fined over fall from height risk
A roofing contractor has been fined after putting the lives of two employees at risk whilst working at height without protection against falls. MW Roofing (NW) Ltd of Bury Road, Bamford, Rochdale pleaded guilty to two breaches, Regulation 4(1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and was fined £6,000 and ordered to pay costs of £2,440.60.
For further information on roof work please go to: http://www.hse.gov.uk/construction/safetytopics/roofwork.htm
Agriculture supply firm fined after worker’s fall
An agriculture supply firm based in Lancaster has been fined after a work fell from a lorry. Glasson Grain Limited, Glasson Dock, Lancaster pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 6 (2) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and was fined £86,000 and ordered to pay costs of £6,363.74.
Firms fined after worker killed falling from telehandler
Two companies from Carmarthenshire and West Midlands have been fined after a worker was killed when he fell from a telehandler. Shufflebottom Limited of Cross Hands, Carmarthenshire pleaded guilty, to breaches of Regulation 3(1)(b) of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, and were fined £125,000 and ordered to pay costs of £43,000. Advance Door Engineering Limited of Malthouse Road, Tipton, West Midlands pleaded guilty, to breaches of Regulation 3(1)(b) of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, and were fined £1 due to insolvency.
Warburtons fined £2million after worker fall
National bread makers Warburtons has been fined £2million after a worker was hospitalised following a fall. Warburtons Limited, Hereford Street, Bolton, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 6(3) of the Work at Height Regulation 2005 and was fined £ 2million and ordered to pay costs of £19,609.28.
Three construction companies fined after worker fall
Three companies from Essex have been fined after a worker fell over seven meters through a fragile roof he was replacing. Ernest Doe & sons Ltd, of Ulting, Essex, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 22 of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007. They were fined £360,000 and ordered to pay costs of £10,000. Balsham (Buildings) Ltd, of Balsham, Cambridge, pleaded guilty to breaching 4(1)(a) and 4(1)(c) of the Work at Height Regulation 2005. They were fined £45,000 and ordered to pay costs of £7,000. Strong Clad Ltd, of Castle Hedingham, Essex, pleaded guilty to breaching 4(1)(a) and 4(1)(c) of the Work at Height Regulation 2005. They were fined £7,000 and ordered to pay costs of £3,000
Companies who employ staff to “work at heights” must comply with the Work at Height Regulations 2005 (WAHR).
Section 6 of the regulations explain how to avoid risks from work at height:
(1) In identifying the measures required by this regulation, every employer shall take account of a risk assessment under regulation 3 of the Management Regulations.
(2) Every employer shall ensure that work is not carried out at height where it is reasonably practicable to carry out the work safely otherwise than at height.
(3) Where work is carried out at height, every employer shall take suitable and sufficient measures to prevent, so far as is reasonably practicable, any person falling a distance liable to cause personal injury.
(4) The measures required by paragraph (3) shall include—
(a) his ensuring that the work is carried out—
(i) from an existing place of work; or
(ii) (in the case of obtaining access or egress) using an existing means, which complies with Schedule 1, where it is reasonably practicable to carry it out safely
and under appropriate ergonomic conditions; and
(b) where it is not reasonably practicable for the work to be carried out in accordance with sub-paragraph (a), his providing sufficient work equipment for preventing, so far as is reasonably practicable, a fall occurring.
(5) Where the measures taken under paragraph (4) do not eliminate the risk of a fall occurring, every employer shall—
(a) so far as is reasonably practicable, provide sufficient work equipment to minimise—
(i) the distance and consequences; or
(ii) where it is not reasonably practicable to minimise the distance, the consequences, of a fall; and
(b) without prejudice to the generality of paragraph (3), provide such additional training and instruction or take other additional suitable and sufficient measures to prevent, so far as is reasonably practicable, any person falling a distance liable to cause personal injury.
For more information you can also read our article on working from height which gives some simple dos and don’ts.
New Broom Training can advise on H&S practices and provide appropriate training. Contact us for more information.