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Charity launches study on falls from height causes

21 May 2024

FALLS FROM height remain the leading cause of workplace fatalities and injuries in the UK, accounting for an alarming 30% of all deaths in 2022/2023*.

In order to gather more comprehensive data on the underlying causes and circumstances of falls from height, the No Falls Foundation, the first and only UK-based charity devoted exclusively to the work at height sector, is embarking on the largest study of its kind in the UK to date.

Released to coincide with the charity’s safe work at height campaign, No Falls Week, the UK falls from height research study is aimed at anyone who has experienced, witnessed, or investigated falls from height.

Year on year, falls from height statistics show little improvement, with up to 425,000 non-fatal falls estimated to have occurred over the past decade, according to the Labour Force Survey.

And behind every statistic is a human story. No Falls Foundation ambassadors Jason Anker MBE, Paul Blanchard and Dylan Skelhorn’s stories serve as stark reminders of the long-term and life-changing consequences of a fall from height; mental health problems, financial worries and long-term care needs. While ‘Abbi’s Story’ highlights the wider reaching implications of loved ones. The effects for all can last a lifetime.

Along with the lives, families and businesses affected by these accidents, up to 992,000 working days were lost through non-fatal falls from height in Great Britain last year alone1.

Not only that, the total cost of falls from height in 2022/23 is estimated to be over £847 million1, made up of costs to the employer and the individual, government tax losses and benefit payments.

Despite statistics provided by the Health and Safety Executive and a call from industry to introduce a simplified system of reporting to more accurately reflect the cause of workplace accidents, there is still a lack of data available surrounding falls from height at work and at home.

Hannah Williams, charity manager at the No Falls Foundation said, “Current reporting focusses on the type of incident, as opposed to what caused it in the first place. We want to gain insight into the root cause which will inform future research projects and focus resources to prevent falls from height.

“We encourage anyone who has experienced, witnessed, or investigated a fall from height to participate in this important research survey to help us ensure everyone who works at height comes down safely.”

Take part in the UK falls from height research study: https://nofallsfoundation.org/index.php/research/study/


RIDDOR – Kind of accident statistic in Great Britain, 2023
1 Labour Force Survey