Bureau Veritas calls for greater focus on ‘dropped object prevention’

BV 1547With new statistics revealing the severe danger posed by falling objects, Bureau Veritas, a service provider for testing, inspection and certification (TIC), is calling on the construction industry to ensure that they have a robust object prevention strategy in place

While much health and safety focus is placed on mitigating the risk of falling at height, the reality is that the danger presented by falling objects from above is just as startling – accounting for 16 per cent of all fatal accidents in the workplace, according to the latest Health & Safety Executive (HSE) statistics. This place ‘dropped objects’ as in the top three of the UK’s workplace killers behind ‘falls from a height’ and ‘being struck by a moving vehicle.’

Karl Simpson, the managing health and safety consultant at Bureau Veritas, said, “Falling object prevention is not treated with the same level of gravitas as other more obvious risks, such as falling from a height. There can be a tendency for businesses to overlook the importance of drop prevention devices because they can be restrictive, while others may adopt a ‘one size fits’ all approach which doesn’t effectively cater for all objects.”

“Yet, we must remember even a relatively small falling object from a height presents a very serious, life-threatening risk – to put into context a 500g object dropped from 15m has the same impact energy as a 75kg washing machine,” he added.

“In terms of best practice, at Bureau Veritas, we recommend that all industry sectors have a robust plan in place to alleviate this risk. When working with construction businesses, for example, we advise that all those working at height, whether on a roof or scaffold, tether tools and other items at source to prevent them falling to ground level,” he stated.

 “The reality is that the risk presented by falling objects can happen anywhere – particularly as adverse weather conditions become more the norm. That’s why anybody with a building portfolio must take steps to identify and mitigate risk from such occurrences – especially considering the current trend for usable roof terraces – covering everything from the specification of furniture through to the placement of utilities,” he concluded.

Alain Charles Publishing, University House, 11-13 Lower Grosvenor Place, London, SW1W 0EX, UK
T: +44 20 7834 7676, F: +44 20 7973 0076, W: www.alaincharles.com

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