Falling from Grace

The UK has, consistently, the lowest workplace fatality rates in the EU. On average we suffer around 1 workplace death per 200,000 workers. The number one cause of workplace fatality is working at Height.

Around a quarter of all workplace deaths involve a fall from height. Whilst we can applaud the UK Businesses for implementing and maintaining robust systems of work which enable these figures to be kept as low as they are we should also look to analyse why exactly these incidents are still a major factor in workplace deaths. Because the regulations are written to basically eliminate working at height wherever possible, designers and contractors have found new and innovative ways of construction where structures or parts of structures are assembled on the floor then simply hoisted into place. This operation brings new and challenging risks associated with the hoisting and moving of huge structures. It also means that construction workers are working less and less at height so whilst the risk is reduced numerically, the experience and competence of actually working at height is being lost so that the fewer who are working at height are more likely to suffer falls and accidents related to that task.

Catch 22.