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Rates Rise by 8% in 2014 for Scaffolder Accidents

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.


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There were 39 slips, trips, and falls on a level surface in 2014, accounting for 37% of the accidents reported. These figures represent a 5% decrease on the associated number of accidents reported in 2013.

When the figures were divided and examined by type of operative, it was revealed that scaffolders experienced the highest number of accidents across all the designated age ranges. According to the NASC, there was also a decrease in the number of incidents involving trainees.

Kevin Ward, the NASC president, said that the yearly report continues to show the industry at large that NASC members have an ongoing commitment to maintaining high standards when it comes to Health and Safety.

He said it was therefore not surprising that this latest set of statistics delivered evidence of continued positive performance. These proven facts help to augment the professional standing of NASC member companies.

Established in 1945, the NASC membership currently accounts for a significant percentage of all industry activity in the UK. It has a strict policy of complete compliance to any new legislation as well as to its own code of conduct. The NASC also works frequently with other industry groups and companies to strive for best practice and development in scaffolding.


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