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Scaffolding Death Prompts HSE Plea

Fall From Height


The death of a 31-year-old man who fell from scaffolding has prompted the UK's safety watchdog to remind companies and employees about implementing safety measures when working at heights.

The man was working in the Hastings area when he died on Monday August 10. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) said such accidents can be prevented if businesses take the correct measures to protect employees and contractors.

Falls from height caused the deaths of 32 workers in 2007/08, nearly half of the 72 fatal injuries across the sector that year. It has been shown that more construction workers die than in any other main industry group.

HSE inspector Melvyn Stancliffe said: "The entire construction industry needs to make sure that workers are properly trained and supervised for the tasks they are given and that they follow accepted industry practices - such as taking measures to prevent falls.

"Falls remain the biggest cause of serious and fatal accidents in the construction sector and everybody must play their part if this toll of avoidable accidents is to stop. It is simple - work to the recognised industry standards and working practices and falls can be prevented."

Copyright © Press Association 2009

David Urpeth from law firm Irwin Mitchell said: “It is disappointing that the construction industry needs to be reminded to take health and safety seriously, when its remembered that a worker in the construction industry is more likely to lose his life in a work accident than in any other industrial sector.

“I regularly help workers pursue their compensation claim following an accident at work. Sadly, the accident could often have been easily avoided.”