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RR978 - Access equipment for construction work at height in residential properties

The construction sector has a high rate of fatalities resulting from falls from height, especially among workers employed in small firms. The sector consists mainly of micro-small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with a large number of self-employed and is peripatetic in its make-up, with employment often short-term and occurring within the informal economy.

The aim of this project was to identify reasonably practical measures to reduce the number of deaths of workers in micro enterprises (MEs), and those who work as sole traders, in carrying out repairs at height on residential properties.

Desk-based research was used to review the types of access equipment that are commercially available as well as to review the fall from heights statistics, and for a brief review of the literature on working at heights. A qualitative method involving semi-structured interviews and a thematic analysis was used to obtain perceptions and information on work practices from a sample of workers from micro enterprises and those who are self-employed and work as sole traders.

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Updated 2013-08-07