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Safety first when hitting the heights

01 September, 2008
Page 4 
Working at height continues to be a major cause of death and injury at work.
Last year alone 45 workers died and a further 3,750 were seriously injured after working at height while at work, according to Norwich Union.As part of its Simply Safety campaign, the insurer is warning retailers to not be complacent when working at height.Phil Grace, liability risk manager at Norwich Union, says: "Despite the Work at Height Regulations 2005, businesses still seem oblivious to the risks involved and are often unwilling to put cheap and simple controls in place."Since the introduction of the regulations, responsibility lies with the employer, the self-employed and any person supervising the work of others to minimise risk."These individuals are required to ensure that work at height is properly planned and organised."The regulations apply to all work at height where there is a risk of a fall liable to cause personal injury and this applies, whether working at one or fifteen metres above the floor." Grace also points out that a significantly high number of serious accidents can occur from falling at what is known as 'low height' - or by activity being carried out close to ground level.He says: "It is a myth that working at height is not integral to the retail sector."Shelf stacking, accessing items in store rooms and handling incoming stock that may have arrived on a Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV) are all examples of work at height."[http://www.norwichunion.com]