A construction worker who nearly died in a fall launched a Health and Safety Executive campaign for better safety measures this week
Gary Seber fell 20 m from a cradle on to a concrete slab at the Four Seasons Hotel in central London in September 1999.

At the launch of the campaign, entitled Don't Fall For It, he said: "I was unconscious for more than a week. My family went to hell and back, thinking I was going to die. After 18 months I managed to get back to work but I'll never recover fully. I wouldn't want anyone else to go through what we have."

As part of the campaign more than 100 HSE inspectors will visit several thousand sites in the next two weeks to check safety precautions for people working at high levels. Similar inspections will take place in every European Union country, and a second round of inspections is planned for September.

Kevin Myers, the HSE's chief inspector of construction, said: "Gary's accident, like most falls in construction, was avoidable. Many fall incidents result from simple deficiencies in planning and organising work, getting the most appropriate equipment to site and ensuring it is used correctly. There is no excuse for failing to anticipate this most obvious of risks."