PASMA, the trade association representing the international mobile access tower industry, has welcomed the reduction in the number of fatalities resulting from falls from height as published in the HSE’s annual ill-health and injury statistics announced on 2 November 2016.
Fatalities are down from 42 in 2014/15 to 37 in 2015/16, and total reported non-fatal injuries from 6,165 to 5,956 respectively.
However, of the 144 workers killed at work in 2015/16, falls from height still accounted for the highest percentage at 26%, with ‘struck by moving vehicle’ at 19% and ‘struck by moving object’ at 10%.
18 of the fatal falls occurred in the construction sector, seven in the agriculture, forestry and fishing sector, and four in manufacturing.
Comments PASMA’s managing director, Peter Bennett: “The downward trend is clearly encouraging, but behind the numbers are families, friends and colleagues whose lives will never be the same again.”
“As an organisation PASMA is totally committed to supporting the HSE’s new health and safety system strategy Helping Great Britain Work Well, and its long running construction industry initiative Working Well Together.”
“We also work tirelessly alongside other member organisations of the Access Industry Forum (AIF) to improve standards, guidance and training in the height safety sector.”
Significantly, PASMA, together with these organisations, is supporting a move to introduce a more comprehensive and meaningful accident and reporting system to better inform access equipment design, guidance and training going forward.
Currently it is often impossible to arrive at a complete understanding of the nature and circumstances of a fall from the information provided by the statutory system. For example, was access equipment involved? If so, what type? Did that equipment play a part in the accident?
Says Peter Bennett: “With the statistics showing signs of levelling off, getting falls from height reporting right could be one the keys to helping unlock a further reduction in the number of deaths and injuries in the workplace in future years.”