Falls from height risks at work ‘remain high across UK’
Workplace injury specialists at Irwin Mitchell have urged employers to ensure that they do everything they can to prevent falls from height, after inspections and a spate of prosecutions by the Health and Safety Executive have revealed how the dangers remain common across the UK.
The safety organisation recently completed a day-long inspection initiative across north-east London, which saw five prohibition notices served in relation to unsafe work at height.
Results of the inspection process have come after the HSE revealed details of several prosecutions, including which saw Nuneaton vehicle engineering firm Mira Ltd fined £12,000 after two employees were injured in a fall from a platform in July last year.
In addition, East Yorkshire farm owner David Adamson was fined over an incident last year when a 20-year-old worker suffered serious injuries in a 4.5-metre fall from height. Finally, IFZW Maintenance of Biggleswade was fined £11,500 after workers were seen working on the roof of a crematorium without any fall protection.
Irwin Mitchell’s accident at work experts represent people who have suffered serious injuries following safety failings in the workplace, including victims who have been hurt in falls from height.
Sally Rissbrook, an expert lawyer at the firm’s Sheffield office, said: “News of the inspection process and the prosecutions has demonstrated the simply unavoidable truth that too many employers are failing to protect their workers from the potential risks of falls from height.
“Having seen through our work the terrible consequences that such falls can have on those involved and their loved ones, often leaving victims with serious injuries which they never fully recover from, it almost goes without saying that this needs to change.
We would urge employers to ensure that they fully assess any risks related to work at height with a view to avoiding such practices if possible. However, when such work is needed it is vital that the necessary fall prevention and other safety measures are put in place to keep workers from harm.
“The number of cases that we see both in our work and through following the HSE’s activity is just too high. Lessons must be learned from incidents so that the same mistakes do not emerge in the future.”
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