The Heath & Safety Executive (HSE) has just announced the provisional figures for worker fatalities in 2006/07 is 241 with workers in the agricultural and construction industries having the highest rates of fatal injury. In fact agricultural and construction workers accounted for 46% of all fatal injuries.

And scaffolders and roofers would seemingly be most at risk as falling from height accidents continue to be the most common type of accident, accounting for 19% of all Roof inspections fatal injuries in 2006/07.

So with such numbers of fatal injuries in addition to the hundreds and thousands of everyday accidents by people working at height here are just a few tips to help you reduce your exposure to risk and the likelihood of an accident occurring:

Plan ahead

As with most things careful planning is often the key to a job being done well. And when it comes to working at height this is even more important if the figures shown above are anything to go by. Someone once said if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Unfortunately for people working at height not taking the time to plan your work could result in not just failure but injury and death. Therefore when planning to work at height make sure the equipment you use is suitable for the job and the people assembling and using the equipment are trained and competent to do so.

Use the right equipment

When it comes to deciding on the best equipment for the job it is also important to remember not to try and save time by just using a ladder when for example scaffolding should be used. Ladders and stepladders are likely to be the most misused pieces of equipment for people working at height and as with any equipment you need to make sure that anyone using them have been trained and are competent using them.

And remember if the use of a ladder is appropriate then you should ensure it is in good condition, it placed on level and firm ground, it is secure and it is of the correct type (the HSE recommend class 1 industrial or EN131).

If you follow these simple yet highly effective tips then your chances of accidents and injuries should be greatly reduced. And the good news for scaffolding firms and roofers is that not only will this reduce your exposure to risk but it also could reduce your insurance premiums.

Scaffolders Insurance and Roofers Insurance often incur higher than normal premiums due to the fact that many of the accidents that happen are more serious than with other professions.

Therefore make sure you follow good health and safety procedures and make sure the only thing that falls are your Scaffolders Insurance and  premiums.

This article was written by Mark Burdett, Marketing Manager of Northern Counties Insurance Brokers. Mark has over 17 years Marketing experience in the Financial Services industry and has worked on campaigns for companies including Norwich Union, Kia and Zurich.

Now based in Newcastle upon Tyne Mark is Marketing Manager for one of the UK’s Leading Insurance Brokers – Northern Counties Insurance Brokers.

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