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13% Rise in Work at Height Safety Breaches

Earlier this month the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) released eye-opening statistics based on fatal injuries in the workplace, which showed that 35 fall from height related fatalities had occurred in 2017/18, increasing by 40% from 2016/17.

Fatal Accident bar chart

The Building Safety Group (BSG) also reported last week that there has been an alarming 13% rise in the number of Work at Height safety breaches recorded on construction sites, following 10,000 site inspections undertaken in the first 6 months of 2018.

Lawrence Waterman, Chairman of the British Safety Council (BSC) commented that,

“This increase in workplace deaths may be the first sign of the effect of years of budget austerity”.

Fatal Accident pie chart

HSE statistics also showed that around one third of the 144 fatalities that occurred in 2017/18 involved self-employed workers, typically in the construction and agriculture industries, whilst the waste management and recycling industries are continuing to tackle a fatal injury rate that was 15 times greater than the average across all industries from 2012/13 to 2016/17.


Dr Colin Church, Chief Executive of the Chartered Institution of Waste Management recently spoke on the statistics,

“We know that many companies have also taken action to improve health and safety across their operations. However, there is still much more to do to reach the objective of ‘zero deaths’ agreed between HSE and industry stakeholders”.

Overall, these eye-opening statistics show that the management of health and safety risks in the workplace, and in particular Work at Height, are not currently meeting the standards set out in regulations.


Marion Diable, Client Director at Heightsafe Systems said,

“We are constantly working with our loyal and growing client base to help educate them whilst undertaking statutory compliance works and assisting with reviews of all Work at Height related practices”.


The Trade Centre’s Group Health and Safety Manager recently commented,

“Heightsafe’s professionalism paired with their quick responses, services, and friendly staff are just what you will need. Additional information was also provided, allowing for my own knowledge to grow”.

As established market leaders in the Work at Height industry, Heightsafe are dedicated to making a significant difference to health and safety management in workplaces nationwide.

Get in touch today to speak to one of Heightsafe’s Work at Height specialists today for free, no obligation advice.


Sources: the HSE, the BSG and Health and Safety at Work.

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