Edge protection around fragile roofs and skylights could prevent seven fatalities a year in the construction industry, according to a Health & Safety Executive report.
The rate of fatalities due to individuals falling through weak and unprotected skylights, and fragile roof surfaces, is more than one every two months.
HSE inspector Frances Bailey adds: “”Many others suffer permanent disabling injury.
“”However, falls can be easily prevented by careful planning, using trained and experienced workers with suitable equipment, and employing a high level of supervision.””
The comments follow an incident in which one Nottingham building firm was found to have carried out work on a dangerous roof, without edge protection or sturdy walkovers to prevent collapse.
Following complaints from worried members of the public, the HSE found not only that the work being carried out was unsafe, but that there was evidence that one individual had fallen through a skylight, and it had not been reported as required.
The HSE report suggests that edge protection, man anchors and safe platforms should all have been in place before work was carried out.