Health and Safety Executive inspectors met more than 130 architects and planning supervisors from across Scotland and the north of England this week to try to design out the risks from falls
At the meeting, designers and planning supervisors were given the opportunity to demonstrate what they have done during the design stage to help reduce falls.

The HSE inspectors were looking for designers who had devised innovative ways of keeping workers safe, so that their solutions could be shared with their colleagues.

HSE inspector Nic Rigby said that the most common cause of fatal accidents on construction sites in the UK was operatives overbalancing while working at height. In the past five years, 437 people have been killed on construction sites in the UK, 225 of those deaths occurred after a fall.

He said: "Some designers have invested considerable resources and innovation in this area but, unfortunately, many others have simply failed to address this area of their work – sometimes with fatal consequences for those on site."

Rigby pointed out that since the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations were introduced in 1994, designers have had a legal duty to design risk out of the construction of buildings where reasonably practicable.

Designers have simply failed to address the risk of falls in their work – with fatal consequences

Nic Rigby, HSE inspector

n Social housing contractor Lovell has launched a hard-hitting construction safety poster campaign. The campaign includes an image of a man sprawled on the ground with his head lying in a pool of blood after a 20 ft fall from scaffolding.

Lovell health and safety manager Nick Lawrence said the campaign is intended to bring home the impact that serious accidents have on people's lives.