Guardrails and safety ladders have an important role to play in offshore operations, where a fall from height could mean landing on a hard metal surface, or even being lost overboard.
In the most recent annual statistics published by the Health & Safety Executive, slips, trips and falls constitute almost half of all reported injuries from offshore industries.
Some 47.2% of all major injuries in 2011-12 could be attributed to such causes, with 92% of all major injuries affecting the victim’s limbs.
Relatively simple measures can help to prevent such incidents from occurring – safety ladders and walkovers can avoid slips and trips while working on offshore facilities, and edge protection such as guardrails can prevent people from falling a significant distance.
Last month, the HSE’s efforts to reduce accidents and injuries in the offshore sector were praised by the Institute of Chemical Engineers.
On April 25th, at a members’ dinner in Aberdeen, the HSE was presented with an award recognising its efforts on the issue.
HSE chair Judith Hackitt, who accepted the award, asked: “”How many other regulators have been awarded for their work by those who they regulate?””
The award is an indication of the importance of edge protection and other such safety measures in offshore work, and of the value the industry places on those who promote their use.