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News

Design initiative to reduce falls from height in construction

HSE InfoLine : 24 March, 2004  (Company News)
The Health and Safety Executive is repeating its 'designer initiative' during April 2004 in a bid to reduce the number of falls from height accidents in the construction industry. The initiative focuses on bringing designers onto the construction sites where their designs are being built.
The Health and Safety Executive is repeating its 'designer initiative' during April 2004 in a bid to reduce the number of falls from height accidents in the construction industry. The initiative focuses on bringing designers onto the construction sites where their designs are being built.

HSE construction inspectors in Scotland and the North of England will be meeting designers and planning supervisors at a range of construction sites to examine ways in which design issues influence workers' safety, both during the construction and future maintenance of a building.

Designers will be given the opportunity to explain what they have done during the design stage to reduce the risks from work at height for those working at these sites.

The previous initiative in March 2003 revealed that many designers lacked knowledge of their legal duties to reduce construction risks through good design. Designers have had a legal duty to design risk out where practicable since the introduction of the Construction (Design & Management) Regulations in 1994.

Work at height continues to be the most significant cause of fatal accidents on construction sites in the UK, responsible for around 40% of all deaths. Many designers have invested considerable resource and innovation in addressing this issue, but unfortunately many others are still failing to address this area of their work.

HSE hope this year's initiative will show a marked improvement on the results of the 2003 exercise, when only one third of designers seen were considered by inspectors to have sufficient knowledge of CDM to allow them to adequately fulfil their duties.

This inspection year (04/05), HSE will be taking appropriate enforcement action to secure improvements from designers who fail to meet minimum legal standards.
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