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Scaffolding accidents rise 9%

10 Apr 15 Accident rates among scaffolders appear to have risen in 2014 but only in direct proportion to the increase in contractors’ activity.

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The 2015 Safety Report of the National Access & Scaffolding Confederation (NASC) shows a 9% increase in the number of injury accidents reported by member companies, which is in line with the 9% increase in the total number of operatives working for NASC member companies.

The total number of accidents reported by NASC members in 2014 was 105, up from 96 in 2013. There were no fatal accidents within the membership.

NASC's 201 member companies collectively employed 14,988 operatives in 2014. The NASC accident rate was therefore 0.7%, or approximately one a year per every 150 employees.

The report also shows that there were 24 falls from height in 2014, with the highest reported fall being from 6 metres. Nine reported falls were from scaffolds or working platforms, of which were six from under 4 metres, with three falls at 4 metres or above, and seven falls were from ladders.

In 2014 the highest number of accidents occurred in the 21-30 age group (43 of them), followed by the 41-50 age group (24). These two groups accounted for 64% of all accidents.

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In age ranges 16-40, slips, trips and falls on the same level were the major cause of accidents (23), followed by falls from height (16), manual handling (13) and falls of materials (2).

In the 41+ age groups, slips, trips and falls on the same level (16) were also the major cause of accidents. These accidents follow a very similar pattern to those reported in the 2014 NASC Safety Report.

Slips, trips and falls on the same level totalled 39 incidents during 2014, which accounted for 37% of the total number of accidents recorded. These figures show a decrease of nearly 5% on the corresponding number of incidents reported in 2013.

When the figures are analysed by grade of operative, it was identified that scaffolders suffered the largest number of accidents across all age ranges. The NASC also identified a decrease in the number of incidents related to trainees

NASC president Kevin Ward said: “The annual report continues to demonstrate to the wider industry the continued commitment of NASC members when it comes to dealing with all matters Health and Safety related. It is therefore no surprise that continuous positive performance is evident in this latest set of statistics. These hard facts help to underpin the professional status for NASC regulated member companies.”

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