AKM Fabrications


  • AKM Fabrications
  • Unit J, Buckshaw Link
  • Ordnance Way, Buckshaw Village
  • Chorley, PR7 7EL

Walkovers Tackle Single Greatest Cause Of Fall From Height Fatalities


Walkovers can act as demarcation systems to indicate the safe route over a roof – particularly one where certain areas of the roof surface are especially fragile.

According to the HSE following a recent prosecution, falls through roofs – either through skylights or through fragile materials like asbestos cement – account for more fatalities than any single other type of fall from height.

In the context of all falls from height, which remain one of the largest categories for workplace injuries and fatalities, that is a substantial risk – and one that can easily be tackled using walkovers.

Walkovers can span fragile areas, or simply delineate a route around them, making it impossible to accidentally step on to a skylight without seeing it.

For even greater protection, for example during roof cleaning work, man anchors can tether individuals to a safe part of the roof, so that they cannot fall from its edge or stray on to a fragile section.

Combined with edge protection to prevent falls from the perimeter of the roof, this creates a fairly comprehensive suite of safety precautions for all manner of work at altitude.

The warning about fragile roofs in particular came following the successful prosecution of not one, but two companies, after an incident that occurred in July 2013.

At that time, the director of a Bournemouth company had been hired to clean the gutters on the roof of another company.

Despite the risk of falling over the edge during guttering work, it was not a lack of edge protection that led to the incident in this case.

Instead, the man lost his balance, and toppled on to – and through – a skylight, falling some fifteen feet and breaking both wrists and one elbow, along with sustaining cuts to his face.

HSE inspector Damien Milbourne said:

“The risks of working on fragile roofs are well-known, but so too are the ways to manage those risks, and all parties involved with work on fragile roofs must ensure the work is correctly planned and managed to ensure the safety of all involved.”