Health and Safety Executive targets falls from vehicles

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has launched a campaign to highlight the dangers of falls from vehicles – a type of injury that is estimated to cost the economy some £35m a year.

Last year, more than 1,600 employees were injured and four were killed by falling from vehicles, and falls from vehicles are the second most common vehicle-related accident in the workplace, the HSE said.

The campaign is focused primarily on managers who make the decisions about what type of vehicles to use, as well as when and how. It highlights alternatives to working at height, what design features to look for, such as safety steps, handrails and slip-resistant floors, and the importance of having ground-based controls.

DVDs of campaign material are available from HSE Books at

At the same time, the HSE is running a campaign to raise awareness of the dangers of slips and trips at work, which cost the lives of 61 people last year, and left 14,000 injured.

The second phase of the HSE’s ‘Shattered Lives’ campaign was launched in February, and targeted staff in food retail, catering and hospitality, food and drink manufacturing, building and plant maintenance, construction, healthcare and education.

As part of the campaign, the HSE has unveiled a free ‘STEP’ interactive learning tool to provide practical guidance.

Marcia Davies, head of the HSE injury reduction programme, said: “People often view slips, trips and falls as trivial incidents, even comical, but they are no joke to those who suffer major injuries – a lifetime of disability, time off work and, in the worst cases, death.”

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