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RR356 - New perspectives on falls from height – Identifying high profile areas for intervention

This report describes a pan-industry study into the risks associated with, and underlying causes, of falls from height. A framework is presented for developing evidence-based policy. This report forms the evidence base.

The falls data set contains 91,000 accidents reported under RIDDOR between 1996/97 and 2002/03. Around 54,000 of these are low-level falls, 18,000 are high-level falls, and the rest are unclassified. This set is used to provide an insight into the key risks where future risk controls may best be targeted, and a baseline from which future improvements may be measured. The largest number of falls are reported in the service industries, followed by the construction and manufacturing industries.

The highest accident rates are reported in agriculture and construction, where the injuries are also typically more severe. New techniques have been used to identify key risk areas as being goods drivers falling from vehicles during loading and unloading, and electrical fitters falling from ladders. Risk registers contain information on the underlying causes of the key risks.

A workshop identified and prioritised key areas for interventions with ladder work as cooperation with other areas of HSE and guidance on the implementation of the Work at Height Regulations.

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Updated 2009-05-05