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Working at Height

Working at Height Safety turns its attention to Scotland

There are certain situations that clearly require a greater focus from a safety perspective - and working at height is most definitely one of those.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is very interested in the way firms go about setting their workers up to perform duties above ground level. It has decided to launch an initiative in Scotland that will see it inspect sites where such work takes place.

As part of a targeted campaign, it will visit a host of construction sites across the country in a bid to work out where they might be going wrong when it comes to working at height. Overall, its aim is to reduce death, injury and ill health as a result of accidents that take place off the ground.

It has effectively been forced into this move by the continuation of a trend that shows more people are being killed and suffering serious injuries after falling from height.

Indeed, in the year to April 2012, some 49 people in the UK lost their lives on construction sites, with falls to the ground named as one of the most common causes. This ensures it must be a primary focus for safety executives at businesses and industry bodies across the nation.

As part of the new scheme, HSE inspectors are due to visit construction sites in Scotland throughout this month, looking both at work at height and any tasks that are performed on the external parts of buildings.

Archie Mitchell, one of the principal inspectors for construction in Scotland at the HSE, said: "Falling from height is the cause of the greatest number of fatalities. All too often straightforward practical precautions are not considered and workers are put unnecessarily at risk. In many cases, simple changes to working practices can make all the difference."