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PPE combating rise of construction fatalities, Honeywell comments

17 July 2023

TWICE AS many construction workers suffered work-related fatalities in the past year compared to other industries, according to the latest data from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE)

The HSE has published its annual work-related fatality report, showing that there were 45 fatal injuries in the construction sector between July 2022 and June 2023 – more than twice that of the second-placed industry.

The number marks a sharp increase from the 2021/22 figures, which recorded 29 fatal injuries to construction workers, and is the highest recorded figure for the sector in the past five years. 

According to the HSE’s report, the top three causes of fatal injuries are falls from heights, being struck by moving objects, and being struck by moving vehicles. The rising figures across the board reinforce the continued need for effective worker PPE and for safety to be top of the agenda for construction business leaders.

Michael Garceau, president of Honeywell Personal Protective Equipment comments, “Construction sites can be dangerous places to work and it takes thoughtful pre-planning to reduce worksite hazards. While not all risks can be eliminated, leaders can manage risks to prevent injury and loss. This, of course, requires that employers understand the specific hazards of all various jobsites, from residential, commercial, institutional or industrial construction. Only then can they provide the proper personal protective equipment (PPE) to help prevent injuries, saving lives, time and money.

“Falls from height are the most common cause of construction injuries and fatalities. It is vital that employers provide the right fall protection for each situation. There are many options, including self-retracting lanyards, harnesses, and anchorage systems. All of them should be durable and comfortable because if the equipment isn’t easy to wear, workers are less likely to wear it correctly.

“To help prevent injuries, employers should provide proper training and ensure that equipment is inspected before each use. They should also supply the proper PPE for workers, including safety goggles, face shields, and hard hats. 

“Construction workers face many hazards on a daily basis, so having the right PPE is critical. Employers should seek out these solutions and provide education and training, not only to protect workers but to build a culture of safety.”