An investigation into a tragic accident has once again put the spotlight on the need for
better personal protective equipment (PPE) management.
Zachary Cox’s fatal fall attracted press attention because it happened on an emblematic
site: the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha, which will be used in the Qatar 2022 World
The incident, in January 2017, could clearly have been avoided if PPE safety standards had
been up to scratch. An inquest heard Cox was using potentially lethal equipment,
according to a report by the BBC.
Cox was doubly unlucky, the report says. He fell when a faulty hoist broke, but the safety
harness that could have saved his life also snapped. The 40-year- old worker, born in South
Africa but living in the UK, died from multiple injuries after dropping 130 feet.
It is unclear whether Cox’s equipment had undergone regular inspections, but the findings
of the inquest make this seem unlikely.
The coroner for the case said working practices on the site were “inherently unsafe” and
that site managers “knew or should have known that they were effectively requiring a
group of their workers to rely on potentially lethal equipment.”
Following the inquest, Cox’s family called for lessons to be learnt.
One of these must surely be that any major building site should not only have appropriate
working-at- height safety procedures in place, but that these procedures should be
transparent and regularly audited.
As we can attest at Papertrail, putting the systems in place to achieve this is not hard or
costly. And if it helps to preserve lives, surely no expense should be spared.
Contact us now for more information about how to make your organisation safer and
I’m unaware of the last time working-at-height safety was a government priority. But last month the UK Government issued a call for advice on this very topic.
More specifically, a committee investigating working-at-height injuries and fatalities put out a statement, through an All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Working at Height, seeking information to understand fatal fall causes and solutions.
The committee is concerned that falls from height, and falling objects, account for the highest number of preventable fatalities and injuries across all sectors in UK industry, according to the APPG.
“The APPG will seek to understand the root causes and propose effective, sensible measures to reduce this toll and send people safely home from work,” it says.
For now, the APPG is asking industry players to provide answers to eight simple questions, such as ‘what are the primary reasons for falls?’ or ‘are there specific measures you believe are necessary?’
As a business committed to improving operational safety through improved personal protective equipment management, at Papertrail we are naturally delighted that this issue has been taken up by the UK administration.
And we are keen to spread the word so the APPG gets as much support as it can from industries employing working-at-height practices.
To get involved, take a look at the APPG’s questions and submit your responses by March 2, 2018, to firstname.lastname@example.org or Working At Height APPG, 32-34 Great Peter Street, London, SW1P 2DB.
Contact us now for more information about how to make your organisation safer and more efficient.
Who says I have to inspect my equipment and keep records?
There is legislation within the EU that clearly specifies what businesses should be doing to keep people safe – no matter what industry they’re involved in. However, as with all legislation, it can be very difficult to find out what we should be doing, and how we should be doing it. The following information will help you adhere to these regulations, and understand where each of them may apply to your business. Papertrail will then help you manage this and put it all into practice in a clear and simple way. Continue Reading…