Scaffold-related accidents seem to have increased in frequency in 2014, but the rate is in direct proportion to rising levels of contractor activity.
According to the National Access & Scaffolding Confederation (NASC)’s Safety Report for 2015, member companies have reported a 9% increase in the number of accidents resulting in injury, which is in line with a 9% increase in the number of contractors employed by NASC member companies.
In total, NASC members reported 105 accidents in 2014, which is up from the 96 incidents documented in 2013. None of the accidents within the membership were fatal.
The 201 NASC member companies employed a total of 14,988 workers last year. The accident rate for NASC was calculated at 0.7%, or approximately one per year for every 150 operatives.
The report also reveals that in 2014 there were 24 falls from height, with the highest documented fall being 6 metres. Nine falls from working platforms or scaffolds were reported, of which six were at heights less than 4 metres, three were higher than 4 metres, and seven were from ladders.
The highest number of last year’s accidents (43) involved the 21-30 age group, followed by 24 accidents in the 41-50 age group. These two demographics accounted for 64% of all accidents.
In the 16-40 age range, slips, trips, and falls on a level surface were the primary cause of accidents, resulting in 23 incidents. There were 16 falls from height, 13 manual handling accidents, and 2 incidents involving falling materials.
In the 41-50 age group, there were an equivalent number of slips, trips, and falls (16). These mishaps follow a similar pattern to those documented in the NASC Safety Report for 2014.