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HEALTH & SAFETY TAKING SAFETY TO NEW HEIGHTS Slips, trips and falls can occur for multiple


reasons, and can be particularly dangerous for those working at height. Here, Matthew Bailey, Inspection and Certification Manager at HCL Safety highlights the actions which can be taken to prevent them and how to best prepare for a fall.


According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), slips, trips and falls cost employers more than £500m per year. The prevention of risk is paramount in keeping costs down for businesses but of course, they can’t always be eliminated completely. It’s how hazards are prepared for and dealt with which makes the difference.


The causes of slips, trips and falls vary and some may say it’s impossible to prepare for all eventualities, but the industry as a whole has already made some great progress to do so. Take 2016-17, fatal falls from height dropped from 37 the previous year, to 25.


However, with this being said, there is still some work to do in terms of reducing what may be labelled as an ‘accident’ as falls alone still account for nearly one third of all fatalities in the workplace.


Legislation and the shift in culture Across the industry, education and training is being ramped up to ensure safety remains the number one priority. This is clear to see in vocational education for example, where safety training is now incorporated into the teaching syllabus - a big step towards ensuring the future workforce are aware of the risks which come with working at height.


The increase in education and training will also add to the switch in culture around health and safety, where the future workforce will inevitably expect higher standards from their employers. We can see this taking place already with statistics from the HSE showing fatal injuries at their lowest for those aged 16-34.


However, if we take a look at the current workforce, attitudes can sometimes be on the contrary with a lack of importance when it comes to safety at height. This can often be due to having worked in the industry for multiple years but does not excuse poor working practices. Whether you have worked at height for a number of years or just starting out, education and training is key to improving safety practices at height.


38 | TOMORROW’S FM twitter.com/TomorrowsFM


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