An Aberdeen businessman and owner of Lifting Equipment Rental, John Aitken, is calling on more stringent workplace measures for the operation of lifting equipment within the construction industry.
The UK construction industry had the highest rate of fatal injuries in workers between 2011 and 2016 with 210 workers dying from their injuries, 43 of whom were fatally injured in 2015/16 – an increase of 22.8 per cent on the previous year.
Mr Aitken says: “UK workforce jobs in the construction industry totalled 2,242,000 in December 2016*. With such vast numbers of people employed, we need to ensure that people are aware of the dangers when operating lifting equipment and that they also have the correct training to ensure that major incidents are preventable.”
When equipment leaves our premises, as with many lifting equipment hire companies, the end user is given instruction on how to use the equipment safely and effectively, but it is then the place of work who need to ensure that the correctly trained operators carry out the lift.”
Mr Aitken continues: “Good work has been carried out to date but there is still room for improvement. The UK had the lowest incidence rate (per 100,000) of fatal incidents at work in Europe in 2013, alongside Malta, with the highest being Lithuania.”
When reviewing the HSE RIDDOR report, it became apparent that not enough is being done. There should be no increase in injuries and we need to look at the causes and why they are happening. With new workforces, such as the Carillion task force moving on to new employers, I hope that training is top of the ladder so that best company practises are passed down to the equipment operators.”
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