The Hague, the Netherlands – Every year, five people on average are killed on construction sites and dozens of others sustain lasting injuries as a result of a fall down a ladder or scaffold. Over the next weeks, the inspection body SZW is going to raise awareness for this issue by checking smaller construction sites on safe use of ladders and scaffolds. The inspection authority, formerly called the Arbeidsinspectie, has announced this on Monday.
The construction branch has been the sector with the most occurring accidents for years and one of the most frequent causes is a fall. The inspection institute SZW has analysed the accidents over the last 11 years. During this time, there were 2822 casualties of a severe accident, which were all caused by a fall down a scaffold or ladder. Of those casualties, 58 people were killed and 346 sustained permanent injuries as a result of the accident.
The top 3 construction jobs with the most risk of falling are: carpenter, painter and mechanic. The main cause for the accidents is the fact that many ladders and scaffolds are not properly stabilised. Another reason is that people need both hands for completing the task or lifting equipment, and therefore cannot properly hold themselves.
During the next three weeks, inspectors will predominantly visit smaller construction sites in city centres. This will concern both the construction of new buildings as well as maintenance and renovation works. The inspectors will also check individual projects where contractors, painters and electricians are working.