Falls from height: construction must react

Falls from height: construction must react
Falls from height: construction must react

THE number of claims linked to falls from height no longer decreases. it’s about the leading cause of fatal accidents in construction (excluding illnesses and road accidents), which has recorded 26 in 2022.

OPPBTP thus launches, in partnership with health insurancea awareness campaign on the risk of falling from height which will run until July 5. Webinars and some 150 physical events will be organized. They will be punctuated in particular by video testimonials from employers and employees who have had this type of experience. The campaign mantra consists of reminding us that “ It doesn’t just happen to others “.

The typical profile of the victim: an employee on a permanent contract in a VSE or SME

Content has also been designed specifically for CSE and CFA. Inter-company prevention and occupational health services will also serve as relays. “We absolutely must be able to reach all small businesses”, aims Christian Morel, occupational doctor in Hauts-de-France.

There are no precise statistics on the subject, but according to analyzes carried out by the OPPBTP, half of these accidents are due to a lack of collective protection or a break in a fragile roof. The professions of roofing framework and masonry-structural work are most affected. The typical profile of the victim is a permanent employee in a VSE or SME, who mainly carries out renovation in private homes, intervenes on the construction site for a short period, And fall of less than three meters.

According to one organization’s survey of 300 representative companiesthe extreme majority of the people concerned, employers and companions alike, have awareness of danger (95%). However, they recognize that they put themselves at risk at least once a year (i.e. without individual or collective protection), but also seeing a dangerous situation without always reacting.

Cultural barrier

L’financial argument is also often put forward. Paul Duphil, secretary general of the OPPBTP, also recalls the role to be played by project management. But “often, companies have a erroneous perception of the customer’s view of the issue of security. The people interviewed as part of our survey on the subject consider that they are not interested in it. However, they note that the presence of scaffolding on a construction site is perceived as a sign of the quality of the company,” he explains. “For clients, taking into account safety on the construction site constitutes a guarantee of seriousness,” abounds Anne Thiébeault, director of the Professional Risks branch of the National Health Insurance Fund (Cnam).

According to the two specialists, the main obstacle would rather be “cultural change, or “habit”. “There are a lot of weak signals. The challenge is to capture them and react. For example, tidying up a construction site, quite simply, does not cost much and contributes to quality and productivity,” insists Paul Duphil.

Security, a criterion of choice for recruitment candidates

Part of the solution lies in technical means. We are thinking of collective protective equipment, the acquisition of which may be subject to financial aid from the Cnam, but also of drones which avoid climbing onto roofs to produce quotes.

Salvation will perhaps come from the workers themselves. “My companions no longer accept working without scaffolding,” says Nicolas Morel, manager of a roofing work company in the Territoire de Belfort. Its TPE experienced a turning point in the prevention of falls from height in 2012, following a accident occurred in a company in the same territory which had a shock effect for the sector. Doctor Christian Morel also observes this: “ Beyond remuneration, working conditions and safety have become criteria of choice for the workers.” In a context of a tight labor market, employers therefore have every interest in focus on prevention to attract new employees.

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