If you have been keeping up with our regular blog posts, you will already know that the construction industry is one of the most dangerous job sectors in the UK. If you didn’t know, don’t worry, our article ‘Most Dangerous Industries In The UK’ is still available to read on our blog. Take a look to find out which industry takes the top spot.
In 2013/14 the construction industry accounted for 42 fatal injuries to workers. The overall average fatalities in construction stand at 46. This shows a slight decrease of deaths in construction in the past two years. Just because the death rate is slightly lower than normal, there is no reason why we cannot carry on lowering this number by working safely.
Injuries in construction have dropped ever so slightly over the past couple of years, but the numbers of injuries are still very high. Falls from height cause the majority of injuries in construction. In 2013/14, falls from height accounted for 581 injuries and 19 fatalities. We believe that these numbers can be reduced by safely using the correct equipment and complying with the Working at Height Regulations of 2005. Other major injuries are caused by slips and trips, being struck by objects and lifting or handling heavy goods. Unfortunately, we are not experts in avoiding being struck by objects or lifting heavy goods, so we can’t advise you about avoiding these injuries. We are working at height experts and we can help you choose the right equipment for the job and advise you how to work safely at height.
The Working at Height Regulations apply to any work at height where a fall is likely to cause personal injury, weather this be when working on a Hop-Up or Extension Ladders. Complying with the Working at Height Regulations can make the work that you carry out at height so much safer. The regulations apply to employers and anyone who controls working at height. This may be a contractor or a factory owner.
To comply with these regulations you must ensure that:
- All work at height is properly planned and organized
- Those involved in work at height are competent
- The risks from work at height are assessed, and appropriate work equipment is selected and used
- The risks of working on or near fragile surfaces are properly managed
- The equipment used for work at height is properly inspected and maintained
Before ladders and access equipment are used you should do a pre-use check to ensure that the equipment is safe for use. This check will take a matter of minutes and could prevent injury and potentially death. If using leaning ladders you should check that the stiles are in good condition, the feet are not damaged or worn and the rungs are not bent. You should check for potential hazards around the area including contamination from materials which could make the equipment slippery. For more information on pre-use checks take a look at the ‘Safe use of Ladders & Stepladders’ PDF from the HSE Website.
Safety Accessories & Equipment should always be considered when working at height. There are a range of situations when safety equipment should be used, for example, working on sloping ground. The Laddermat Ladder Leveller is made up from heavy-duty rubber matting with nodules, these are linked by a sturdy metal loop and offer adjustable anti-slip locking to go under the ladder foot needing extra height. This can also be placed under both feet to reduce the risk of slipping or sinking into soft ground.
If you are still unsure about ladder safety you may be happy to know that we have a Ladder Inspection & User Training Course coming up on the 26th this will take place at Bolton Training Centre. The Ladder Inspection & User Training Course is a national training scheme for users, supervisors and managers wanting to equip themselves with the knowledge, skills and confidence necessary to use ladders legally and safely.
If you have any questions or queries regarding working safely at height please don’t hesitate to contact our expert team by calling 01204 590 232 or drop us an E-mail.