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HSE to crack down on work at height as falls incidents climb

The Health and Safety Executive is planning a crackdown on work at height after research found the proportion of deaths from falls had increased significantly.

A working group established under the Construction Industry Advisory Committee has been given the go-ahead to draw up a targeted, multi-year work-atheight campaign in a bid to tackle the growing issue.

The move comes just weeks after construction safety expert John Spanswick called for an innovative new campaign on falls, modelled on the HSE’s successful asbestos campaign.

The Coniac safety working group has been studying historic incident statistics over the past three months and chair Joy Jones said it found “the proportion of deaths from falls as opposed to other causes has increased”.

She added: “The group concluded that a longer term sustained campaign to hit this illdefined target audience may be appropriate.

“Such a campaign would be specific to construction, and linked to, but different from, HSE’s Shattered Lives campaign.”

Coniac approved plans for the campaign, which will now be developed by the group.

The HSE is meanwhile conducting a four-week nationwide blitz on refurbishment and roofing work. It is the third consecutive year the regulator has run an intensive inspection campaign.

Chief construction inspector Philip White said: “If things don’t change, you need to understand why that is.

“We might find this is around smaller projects and, if we find things haven’t improved, then we could be ratcheting up our small sites work.”

Last year inspectors visited 1,759 sites and 2,145 contractors across the UK. During the campaign the
HSE issued more than 270 prohibition notices - many of which related to work from height.