Nigel's Lens - Work at Height

November 30, 2021

We would like to introduce you to our new segment  “Nigel’s Lens”. Many of you may be familiar with Nigel, he is one of our site inspectors who travels around the country visiting construction sites to ensure that the Principal Contractor is appropriately managing, monitoring, and coordinating the project construction phase. Each quarter we will focus on a principle hazard area to highlight the risk and provide some examples of good and poor practice which Nigel has come across during his travels. This quarter we look at Work at Height which remain the single biggest cause of workplace fatalities in Great Britain.

Statistics released by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) in 2020 show that almost half of all construction accidents (47%) were from falls from height. There were 40 fatal injuries in 2019/20, slightly up on the five year average of 37 per year. 29 of these fatalities were due to falls from height.

Below we share some good and poor practice Nigel has spotted during his recent inspections.

Good Practice: Access delta deck podium with extra handrails on scaffolding for protection
Good Practice: Scaffolding in place with a gable end handrail in addition to the short lift
Good Practice: Scaffolding with closed trapdoor and brick guards
Poor Practice: Scaffolding deck cluttered with materials which compromises the edge protection
Poor Practice: Waste on scaffolding which is a trip hazard
Good Practice: Scaffolding access using a staircase
Poor Practice: Bricklayers clutter on working lift
Poor Practice: Scaffolding access using single long ladder
Poor Practice: Poorly planned access