A fall of 2.5 metres might not sound like a ‘low’ height, but that’s how far a single-storey drop can be, and the possible outcomes make it clear that edge protection is still an essential precaution on roofs at this height.
In one incident reported by the HSE, a 37-year-old man was re-covering the roof of a one-storey outhouse with no edge protection in place.
He fell, and broke not just his hip, but his left leg – in six places – leaving him unable to return to work since the incident on December 11th 2013.
HSE inspector Chris Wilson said: “Falls from height are the biggest cause of workplace deaths and it’s crucial that employers make sure work is properly planned, appropriately supervised and that sufficient measures such as edge protection are put in place to control the risks of harm from falls.
“Contractors must ensure that, for even relatively small-scale jobs where there is a risk of a fall from height, adequate safeguards are in place.”
He added that the victim’s injuries are life-changing and major – but that they could have been worse, with a risk of fatality even from a single-storey fall.