Worrying rise in fatal falls says HSE report

A new report from the HSE has shown an alarming increase in deaths caused by work at height.

The reports show 40 workers were the victim of a fatal injury due to a fall from height in 2018/2019, making it the biggest cause of workplace fatal injuries. In the prior year, 35 workers died due to a fall from height.

A total of 147 workers were killed at work in 2018/2019 across all sectors, an increase of 6 fatalities from 2017/2018.

The release of these statistics follows a report from the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Working at Height, established by a group of non-partisan MPs to oversee safe working practices at height in the UK, which advised the introduction of enhanced reporting, the appointment of an independent body, and an equivalent system to Scotland’s Fatal Accident Inquiry process.

Chair of the APPG and MP for Glasgow Central Alison Thewliss said: “These statistics show this issue is not going away. It is imperative that the Government takes forward the recommendations made in our report which have been devised with input from industry and key stakeholders”.

“Time is of the essence when it comes to safety in the workplace, and we need to ensure these actions are taken forward as quickly as possible”

Speaking on behalf of the Access Industry Forum, PASMA’s Managing Director, Peter Bennett OBE said: “Whilst we welcome the UK continues to consistently have one of the lowest rates of fatal injury across the EU, the figures released today are still too high. There should be absolutely no question or doubt over workers’ ability to return home safely to their families every evening.”


HSE response

The report does indicate a decrease in total deaths in the construction industry, with 30 fatalities, down on the average of 36 and the lowest since records began back in 1981. Construction, unfortunately, retains its place as the second-highest sector for number of deaths behind agriculture, forestry and fishing.

HSE Chair Martin Temple said: “This release of workplace fatality statistics is a reminder that despite the UK’s world-leading position in health and safety, we cannot become complacent as we seek to fulfil our mission in preventing injury, ill health and death at work.”

One of the leading causes of fatalities when working at height is falling through fragile roofs. Steadfast supplies a range of fragile roof products when carrying out work on dangerous roofs, including temporary walkways and solutions for valley gutters. For more information about our height safety products, call us on 01473 834144, or use our online contact form.

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