I am often told from those within and outside of my sector that falls from height are such a rare occurrence – the implication being that height safety does not warrant being taken more seriously than some roofing ancillary like a gutter, or even a rain screen
Being a curious sort I thought I’d look this up. Within 15 minutes I found 15 prosecutions on the HSE press site all within the last 12 weeks. A total of; over £255K in fines and costs; 5 serious breaches; 7 serious injuries. The fines where apportioned across all the companies responsible – clearly in the courts risk cannot be packaged and sold.
Looking at the wider statistics in 2013 the reported deaths numbered 46, with some 2500+ reported serious injuries. The majority of these where within the construction and maintenance sectors.I wonder if we would find the statistics so minor if it where this number of architects, engineers or quantity surveyors?
To successfully complete a construction project takes many different skills, there is little point designing and engineering a building without the craftsmanship and labour required to construct it.
In an environment where our sector needs to retain and attract skills – these statistics hardly send the correct message.
Like many height safety professionals all too frequently I come across the attitude that provisions are simply about gaining a certificate at the lowest cost rather than actually being fit for purpose – because falls do not happen? Well in 2013 there where over 2500 reasons to rethink this attitude.