Although it is a regulated industry, the construction industry still has a number of small companies that often cut corners in order to save costs and/or to meet tight deadlines. Unfortunately, this only contributes further to the fact that this industry has the worst health and safety record of all. Working at height in particular has its own built in dangers. In actual fact, one out of every 12 accidents in the workplace is a direct result of working at height.
What is a Dangerous Height?
Of course it’s quite difficult to quantify at what stage a height becomes dangerous. Suffice it to say that 24-year-old Jason Anker fell off a ladder just 10 feet from the ground when working for a Midlands-based employer, and was paralysed for life. Jason, who is now aged 43, has devoted his life to speaking to companies involved in the construction industry (particularly those working at height), and recounts his own tragic experience, hoping that it may prevents many similar accidents from happening to others in the future.
Don’t Cut Corners Where Health and Safety is Concerned
Jason recounts how the company were under pressure and were trying to catch up having fallen behind the deadline. Because of this, certain safety precautions were ignored. Indeed, it was the fact that his ladder had not been tied to the building that resulted in it slipping, causing his catastrophic fall.
Imagine if it Happened to You
Anyone who hires a company to carry out work at heights (roofing work for example) needs to be thoroughly convinced of the ethics of the company they are going to employ. Putting pressure on employees, or even allowing employees to sidestep certain safety measures, like wearing a safety harness, needs to be dealt with. Imagine how you would feel if the person working on your roof was to fall, and as a result, die. It just doesn’t bear thinking about.
The Case of Peter Walton
Anyone who is involved in working at heights needs to accept responsibility in order to stop these tragedies from happening. Let’s take another case for example; that of 55-year-old Peter Walton, who died as a result of an unsecured board giving way on the scaffolding he was climbing. The scaffolding had been erected by someone else; someone who through their own negligence brought about the death of Mr Walton. Had they taken their responsibility seriously, this tragedy could have been averted.
Only Work with a Professional Construction Contractor
The more professional a construction company is, the more likely they are to follow correct health and safety procedure, and to make sure that their employees and their subcontractors do so as well. That’s why it’s so important when hiring a contractor who will be working at height, to first check out their safety record. We all have a responsibility to make the construction industry a safer environment to work within.
We Can All Do Our Bit to Help
Not only can accidents like the ones that happened to Jason Anker and Peter Walton be avoided, but we can prevent them from happening to others in the future. By acting responsibly we can all help to save lives and stop horrific injuries.
Lee is a professional article and blog writer who publishes his work on the internet to draw attention to the unacceptable accident rate that is still prevalent within the construction industry and currently advises www.workingatheightltd.com on safety issues.