While edge protection has clear applications in terms of preventing injuries – both to workers falling from height, and to passers-by who might be hit by falling objects – the HSE has recently pointed out the benefits in terms of profitability too.
In once recent incident, a horrified member of the public made three separate reports to the HSE after witnessing work on a 15m-high scaffold that had been poorly erected, with no guardrails.
The defendant compounded this initial offence by failing to produce documentation when it was asked of him, making it harder for the HSE to check whether the correct safety precautions were being taken on any other sites he may have had control over.
HSE inspector Andrew Verrall-Withers explained how a lack of safety precautions not only puts people at risk, but can financially affect others in the business too.
“It’s vital that law-abiding scaffolders have confidence they will not lose work to others who underquote them because they take shortcuts at the expense of safety,” he said.
Although safety is clearly the primary importance when considering guardrails and other such measures, it is useful to remember that investing in edge protection can have positive economic benefits overall too.