Working at height breaches on construction sites have risen by 84% in the first quarter of 2021, according to the Building Safety Group (BSG)
BGS’s report is a cause for concern as working at height remains the biggest danger for construction workers.
Statistics released by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) in 2020 show that almost half of all construction accidents (47%) were from falls from height. There were 40 fatal injuries in 2019/20, slightly up on the 5-year average of 37 per year. 29 of these fatalities were due to falls from height.
Over 60% of deaths during working at height involve falls from ladders, scaffolds, working platforms, roof edges and through fragile roofs.
BSG’s latest figures were obtained following 4,300 independent site inspections that took place between 1 January and 31 March this year.
‘The most dangerous construction activity’
“Working at height is clearly the most dangerous activity carried out in the construction sector,” said Andy Harper, technical support manager at BSG.
“We can all do more to ensure that work is properly planned, supervised and conducted by qualified workers who have the required skills for the job in hand. Having the correct control measures in place and assessing the risk is also essential for avoiding accidents.
“In addition, companies should try to complete as much work as possible from the ground, ensure safe access and egress and importantly, make certain that any equipment used is suitable and designed for that purpose, installed and used by a competent person and inspected as required by the Working at Height Regulations 2005 and relevant guidance.”