How common are injuries when working at height?

There were 13,678 falls from height in workplaces across the UK in the year 2011-12 that were serious enough to require reporting to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995. Eighteen of those falls were fatal and over four thousand resulted in major injuries, i.e. injuries resulting in the fracture of major or multiple bones, loss of a limb or comparably serious injuries. Thousands more falls were recorded in the Labour Force Survey, which covers 40,000 households quarterly.

Those stark statistics paint a pretty grim picture of life working above ground level, but it is only when they are further investigated do we discover that the greater majority of falls recorded were from heights below two metres (though that is six and half feet in old money). The only category for which this wasn’t true was that of fatal injuries where more than twice the number of victims fell from heights above two metres than below two metres. Only a sixth of the falls resulting in major injuries were from heights above two metres and for over three day injuries (injuries requiring three or more days away from work) approximately only a tenth of the falls were from above two metres.

Should that make us feel any better about the overall number of falls annually? Hopefully not, for most were avoidable and the result of health and safety oversights that, in this day and age, should never have happened.

Are you statistically more likely to become a victim of an injury due to working at height if you work in a particular sector? Unfortunately, yes you are. If you are working in transport, retail, manufacturing or construction take a parachute to work as the greatest number of falls are suffered by workers in the services industries closely followed by those working at height in the manufacturing and construction sectors. Other sectors, at worst, only experience a quarter of the falls reported from either the transport or retail sectors and usually far fewer than that.

The preponderance of falls from height in transport, retail, manufacturing and construction has remained the same for decades, even though the trend in all injury categories for work related falls continues on a generally downwards trajectory. Meanwhile the HSE’s annual statistics continue to graphically demonstrate that there are still pockets of indifference in industry when it comes to taking the correct steps to prevent a seemingly never ending queue of valuable employees toppling from their work positions.

Sustained an injury when working at height? Call the Work Accident Solicitors

If your employer fails to carry out their legal duty of care towards you and you suffer an injury as a result, you may be entitled to make an accident claim for compensation. Our expert accident claims solicitors have helped hundreds of clients nationwide and can helping you claim today.

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