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May 7, 2019

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Working at height

Working at height involved in 11% of health and safety incidents on major public works

Heightsafe has gathered statistics from four high-profile UK public works projects.

working from heightData obtained by a Freedom of Information (FOI) request shows that 11% of reported health and safety incidents are related to working at height.

This data snapshot was obtained in an FOI request submitted to HS2 Ltd, Sellafield Ltd, Highways England (motorway works on M1-M6) and Network Rail (Crossrail).

Heightsafe, which gathered the information, asked respondents to share details of RIDDOR, LTA and recordable incidents in order to ascertain how many reported health and safety incidents had occurred and what proportion of these incidents were related to working at height.

The statistics gathered showed that, of the 538 non-fatal reported incidents, 56 were as a result of working at height. There were no reported fatalities linked to working at height.

Ken Diable, Managing Director of Heightsafe said: “The risk of Working at Height for construction and maintenance workers is known to be higher than those working in other sectors. In fact, falls from height accounted for the majority of fatal injuries to workers from 2013-18.”

Crossrail reports highest stats

Of all respondents Network Rail’s Crossrail project reported the highest number of total incidents, and highest number related to working at height, with 321 and 35 respectively.

Ken Diable commented: “As the largest construction project in Europe it is not surprising that Crossrail reported the highest incidents across the respondents.”

In March, Heightsafe called on the HSE to consider more stringent regulations to reduce the number of preventable deaths and injuries as a result of working at height

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