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WAHA - News Blog

E-News - Safe Working at Height - More than a Fall Issue!

WAHA Secretary - Wednesday, May 17, 2017

We are all aware of the dangers and risks associated with Working at Height. However, when we think about the risk, we tend to only think about falls. Fall statistics remain at a stubbornly high level as shown below:-

Fatalities from Falls from Height Statistics - Source - Work Related Traumatic Injury Fatalities 2015
2005 2007 2009 2011 2013 2015
Fatalities ** 155 181 146 146 132 142
Falls from Height 26 32 29 22 24 26
% of Fatalities 17% 18% 20% 15% 18% 18%
** Excludes vehicle collisions

However, there is a second high risk area resulting from working at height accidents and, the results are remarkably similar.
These fatalities result from persons being hit by objects dropped from height:

Fatalities from Being Hit by Falling Object - Source - Work Related Traumatic Injury Fatalities 2015
2005 2007 2009 2011 2013 2015
Fatalities ** 155 181 146 146 132 142
Falls from Height 25 24 15 27 25 21
% of Fatalities 16% 13% 10% 18% 19% 15%
** Excludes vehicle collisions

The table below then shows that - over the analysis period - more than one third of all industrial fatalities (excluding vehicle collisions) - resulted for errors of judgement by individuals while working at height - whether by an error of judgement resulting in a fall or an error of judgement by releasing an object while working at height.

Fatalities from Being Hit by Falling Object - Source - Work Related Traumatic Injury Fatalities 2015
2005 2007 2009 2011 2013 2015
Fatalities ** 155 181 146 146 132 142
Combined Height 51 56 44 49 49 47
% of Fatalities 33% 31% 30% 34% 37% 33%
** Excludes vehicle collisions

The Association’s interest in working with Regulators and industry is therefore clear and reflects the genuine, ongoing need to keep a strong focus on these issues.

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