In the construction industry, 97 of 217 fatal injuries over the last five years have been the result of falls from height. QSC’s Ashley Moore shares his thoughts on how to reduce the risks.
In 2014/15, 14 of the 24 fatal injuries in construction were the result of falls from height. One thing is clear, with statistics like these, more has to be done in the construction industry to stop lives being lost. Repeatedly on the construction sites I have visited, managers and supervisors show complacency to working at height.
If you are a manager or supervisor in the construction industry, or any industry for that matter, with employees working at height a simple piece of advice is to follow the hierarchy of control:
- Eliminate the risk
Think, does the task have to be carried out? Is there another option that doesn’t involve working at heights?
Reduce the risk Use work equipment or other measures to minimise the distance from the edge or time spent at height.
Isolate the area Think, could edge protection be used instead?
Control the situation Have a safe system of work in place i.e. method statements and risk assessments
Be equipped for the job Using the correct type of personal protective equipment (PPE)
- Show discipline Clearly communicate the company’s safety rules and procedures
It’s time to eliminate the unnecessary loss of life from falling from heights. So let’s think safety first, and ensure construction workers understand the risks and have advice and guidance to work in the safest way possible.