Falls from height 'not falling' - Norwich Union

Article date: 25 October 2006

Businesses are still failing their staff when it comes tomanaging work at height, as revealed by claims being made againstemployers.

Norwich Union’s own claims research* has highlighted thatfalls remain a major cause of injuries and fatalities. Phil Grace,Norwich Union’s casualty risk manager, says: “Industryneeds to get its house in order by improving the control of workat height.”

And some of the most serious consequences are caused by falls froma “low height” – in other words, activities thatare carried out close to the ground.

In one claim, valued at more than £200,000, an employee fell whileworking on a van that was located on a low loader. He was using achair to stand on at the time.

In another, totalling £175,000, a chef fell 12ft from a ladderthat he was using to replace light bulbs on a hotel frontage,causing ankle and wrist fractures, four months off work and theneed for the hotel to find a replacement in the kitchen.

Grace adds: “Despite the implementation of new Working atHeight Regulations (2005), businesses still seem oblivious to therisks involved and unwilling to put cheap and simple controls inplace.

“Falls caused by working at height are happening across awide range of sectors, including construction, agriculture, motorvehicle repair, haulage and freight transport and across servicebusinesses such as window cleaners, electricians, painters andplumbers.”


Claims data 2006

For further information, please contact:

Jon Clements at Staniforth on 0161 919 8022/ 07989414486 
Sally Leeman at Norwich Union on 01603 684225/ 07800 699670

Notes to editors:
Norwich Union is the UK’slargest general insurer with a market share of around 14%, with afocus on insurance for individuals and small businesses.

It is a leading provider of life, pensions and investment productsand one of the largest financial adviser (FA) providers. FAsprovide over 70% of the company's long-term savings business inthe UK.

Norwich Union’s news releases and a selection of images areavailable from Aviva's internet press centre at www.aviva.com/media.

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