HSE blitz on heights scares in region

WORKERS' lives are at risk at construction sites across the East of England because these sites fail to comply with vital health and safety regulation.

WORKERS' lives are at risk at construction sites across the East of England because these sites fail to comply with vital health and safety regulation.

More than 130 sites across the region were visited by inspectors from the Health and Safety Executive in June as part of a national blitz on falls from height.

Inspections were carried out at 133 sites to make sure that where work at height was taking place or planned, the risk of falling was being properly managed.

At almost a quarter of the sites formal enforcement had to be taken. 19 contractors received prohibition notices which stopped their work until the problems had been resolved.

Sandy Carmichael, HSE principal inspector for Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex, said: "We were encouraged to see that many businesses were meeting or exceeding the minimum standards for protecting people working at height. However, we were disappointed to find some sites where poor standards of safety were putting employees at real risk."

Nationally, inspectors visited 1446 construction sites and work was stopped at almost a quarter of the sites visited.

Most Read

Falls from height remain the biggest cause of death, disability and injury in construction in Great Britain, accounting for 37 deaths and 1344 major injuries of workers in 2001/2.

The blitz was part of 'Don't Fall For It', a Europe-wide inspection-led campaign to reduce falls from height in the construction industry.

This news comes just three weeks after a dock-worker plunged to his death from a 120ft crane at Felixstowe Docks.

A spokesman for the Health and Safety Executive said: "The investigation into the circumstances surrounding this accident began straight away and work is still continuing, both in the office and at the site. At this stage it is impossible to say how long it will be before an outcome is reached."

The dangers of attempting to work from heights for domestic DIY chores were highlighted yesterday in the Evening Star when it told how a Saxmundham man was airlifted to hospital after falling off a ladder.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter