Falls continue to be the biggest cause of fatal injury in Britain’s workplaces, with 34 of the 72 worker deaths in construction in 2007/08(p) resulting from a fall from height. On top of this, over 4,000 major injuries such as broken bones or fractured skulls are reported to HSE each year by the construction industry. Over half of these serious injuries involve falls from height or from tripping over materials on walkways and are easily preventable.
The inspection initiatives in construction continued HSE's enforcement led inspection activity and follow on from the Fit Out Campaign in 2005 and the Watch Your Step initiative in 2006. Reducing the number of injuries and deaths from falls and trips is a priority for HSE to help the construction industry meet its accident target by 2010, and more importantly to help prevent the devastating effect these kinds of accidents have on the lives of workers and their families.
The number of accidents can be reduced by taking a sensible approach:
HSE launched its Shattered Lives campaign in Spring 2008 continuing it through 2009 to help reduce slips, trips and falls in the workplace. The aim is to raise awareness of the risks and help those involved to take simple action that will prevent slips trips and falls. Building and plant maintenance and the construction industry feature heavily in the campaign.
HSE launched its Asbestos Hidden Killer campaign in 2008. The aim is to raise awareness amongst tradesmen that they are risk to exposure to asbestos.