in 10 London workplaces are failing to prevent falls from height, an
investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has found.
at 949 workplaces over two weeks during September – including schools, bus
garages, factories and public and private hospitals – resulted in 47
of the enforcement action concerned industrial estates. Examples of their poor
practice include a gang of roofing contractors who were working on a fragile
roof without any means of fall prevention, and a wooden ladder that was so
badly damaged, the inspector immediately prohibited its use.
from height are the single biggest cause of death in UK workplaces, accounting
for 69 deaths and 3,996 major injuries in 2001-2002.
London in the same year, nine workers died following falls from height at work,
and 393 suffered major injuries.
HSE has been running a campaign entitled ‘Don’t Fall for It’, designed to
highlight the dangers of falls from height – particularly within the
its latest blitz on building sites during September, the HSE found more than a
third of sites were still well below standard.
visited 1,429 sites around the country, issuing 332 prohibition and 82
improvement notices, with 13 potential prosecutions under consideration.
Myers, chief inspector for construction at the HSE, said that despite a
high-profile inspection regime, the findings worryingly suggest the industry
had failed to raise its standards.
in the industry are deliberately cutting corners, paying lip-service to safety
and risking the lives of their workers,” he said.
HSE has published a new information sheet on preventing falls from boom-type
mobile elevating work platforms, often called ‘cherry pickers’. Information
sheet MISC614 clarifies the issues surrounding the selection and use of
appropriate personal fall protection equipment, and is avail