It’s sad to say that falls from ladders and raised work surfaces are one of the most common causes of worker deaths in the country, this needs to change. If you work in the construction industry or any sector that involves working outdoors using scaffolding, then there are important things you need to know about. You may think you know how to erect scaffolding and safely use it and that is probably true, but it can be life threatening if you get it wrong. As was tragically the case in a news story recently issued in scaffmag. You can read the full story through the link below.
A young scaffolder fell five metres and suffered a fatal injury whilst dismantling a scaffold in London. The HSE led an investigation and found that the Wembley Scaffolding Services Ltd Director hadn’t carried out a risk assessment or planned the work in any effective way including providing a design for the erection or dismantling of the scaffold. He didn’t have the sufficient knowledge of the safety measures he needed to take and as a result put two men at risk and cost one of them their life.
In court he pleaded guilty to breaching the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and Safety at Work etc Act 1971. The HSE had this to say about the incident, “the case highlights the importance of following industry guidance in order to design and erect scaffolding in a safe manner, to prevent risk to workers using the scaffold. The death could have been prevented if the employer acted to identify and manage the risks involved, and to put a safe system of work in place.”
As the HSE has said it’s crucial that workers and employers adhere to all safety procedures and regulations especially now, with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic still hitting workplaces and changing how they operate for the foreseeable future. Risk assessments are of paramount importance to assess not only the safety of erecting the scaffolding but protecting the workers with PPE, social distancing, and other measures in place to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
Work at Height Regulations 2005- a quick overview
Their name gives it away, but these regulations are a set of legal requirements that all workers and workplaces must follow when work is being done at height. They were introduced to help reduce the number of deaths at work by falling from high up and there has been some improvement since they were enforced but they could be more effective.
Rushing into a job or not taking the necessary safety precautions isn’t worth your life or the lives of any other workers, that’s why these regulations are so important in this type of workplace.
As well as scaffolding there are other pieces of equipment that can be used in this industry such as access towers. They combine many features of ladders and scaffolding so that individuals can work safely at height. To find out more about what products are available that are useful in construction or trade then check out our selection here at BPS.
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