Search Our Site

We have 3,751,322 registered online learners.
1,100 new learners so far today.

Height safety failings the ‘biggest danger’ for construction workers

schedule 11th July 2017 by Ben Piper in Construction Last updated on 24th April 2018

Height safety failings the ‘biggest danger’ for construction workers

Height safety failings the ‘biggest danger’ for construction workers

Of over 20,000 site inspections during 2016, height safety failure was found to be the most commonly identified breach by far, it has been reported.

According to the Building Safety Group, a total of 24,634 non-compliances were logged by safety advisors during last year, with working at height accounting for 19 per cent of all breaches recorded.

Behind this, the second highest prevalent site injury was the inhalation of dust or fumes, accounting for five per cent of non-compliances.

These figures coincide with those released by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE), claiming that over the last five years, falling from height has killed 97 construction workers and amounted to 45 per cent of all fatal injuries on site.

While in the past couple of years there has been an overall drop in fatalities, falling from height remains the biggest single cause of accidents on construction sites. In addition to this, it is the most prominent cause of non-fatal accident related injury, responsible for 33 per cent of all non-fatal injuries. This includes 11 per cent of incidents resulting in an absence from work of more than seven days.

The Building Safety Group claims that fragile roof lights, scaffolding and ladders are the three main sources of falls from height injuries and fatalities.

Chris Chapman, Building Safety Group’s technical manager, said: “Working at height is clearly the most dangerous activity carried out in the construction sector. Everyone can do more to ensure that work is properly planned, supervised and conducted by qualified workers who have the required skills for the task in hand.

“To significantly reduce the dangers of working at height, construction companies should always try to complete as much work as possible from the ground, ensure safe access and egress and importantly, make certain that any equipment used is suitable, stable and strong enough for the job.”

Related resources

Ben Piper - Virtual College

Author: Ben Piper

Ben is a member of the Virtual College marketing team. He has a degree in economics and writes about business and education issues. In his spare time he loves food, drink and films.

ISO 9001:2015
Crown Commercial Service Supplier
LPI Accredited Learning Technologies Provider


+44 (0)1943 605 976

Virtual College

Marsel House


West Yorkshire

LS29 8DD

Awards for footer
Gold and silver award winners at the Learning Technologies Awards 2017 - including gold for excellence in the design of learning content.


We are in the process of moving to one Virtual College website. If you want to go back to a course, or start a course, bought from our old website then you may need to login to our original learning management system. Otherwise, please proceed to our new learning management system to return to your training.


You are already logged in. Click the button below to be taken to your LMS dashboard. Alternatively, click logout to leave the system.