A new 2013 Safety Report has been launched by the National Access & Scaffolding Confederation (NASC), documenting the statistics for scaffolding safety in 2012 for all of its contracting member companies.

The annual NASC report contains accident statistics over a three-day – and, new for the 2013 report, seven-day – period, together with a comparison of NASC accident data with industry statistics supplied by the Health & Safety Executive. It provides details of injuries and fatalities, and causes and analysis of accidents and injuries to operatives, third parties, and members of the public.

The report also covers NASC safety support and guidance, advice, membership criteria and objectives, prefaced by a statement from the current NASC president Rob Lynch of Lyndon Scaffolding.

NASC Safety Report statistics show:

  • There was one fatality in 2012 – the first since 2004
  • Slips, trips and falls are still the major cause of accidents and injuries in the industry, making up 34% of all accidents and injuries
  • Scaffolders are the most at risk (52% of accidents), followed by labourers (25%), trainees (10%), advanced scaffolders (8%), supervisors (3%) drivers (3%), and managers (0%)
  • The 21 to 30 age group is most at risk, with more reported incidents than any other age range
  • Falls from heights increased from 27 to 32 in 2012, whilst falls from ladders remained static at five incidents, and there were three falls from vehicles recorded in 2012
  • Encouragingly, the report also reveals that the total number of injuries reduced from 145 in 2011 to 134 in 2012, and that manual handling injuries decreased significantly from 37 to 17 – a reduction of 54%.

"The NASC has one dominating and overriding purpose: to improve the safety of scaffolding," Lynch said. "By this, we mean the safety of those erecting and dismantling, those working on the scaffold and those people who may be impacted by the scaffold.

"The NASC's annual Safety Report is just one step in the right direction. By recording and sharing the problems we have had, we can focus our efforts on those areas needing most improvement. The NASC is proud of the part it has played in raising the bar for safe scaffolding. The expectations are incomparably higher now than they were at the millennium; just consider how far we have come and the vast volume of guidance and advice issued."

Lynch encouraged all scaffolders – members and non-members – and scaffold users, to review the report and use it to direct their safety drives each year.

Meanwhile, Adrian Rooney, chairman of the NASC Health & Safety Committee, said: "The NASC Safety Report has yet again shown that the efforts and commitment shown by member companies – and above all those who work on committees and groups to produce safety guidance, training and associated literature – are succeeding. We have, yet again, seen a fall in overall figures for accidents, despite an increase in the number of operatives. But most heartening is the correlation between member figures and those for our industry as a whole, which shows that NASC members continue to outperform the industry.

"The NASC Health & Safety Committee works tirelessly to produce best-practice guidance for the industry," he added.

NASC managing director Robin James concluded: "Once again, our annual Safety Report has revealed some interesting and positive statistics and provided engaging analysis, which we can use to help raise standards and levels of safety in the scaffolding and access industry."

To obtain a digital PDF copy of the NASC 2013 Safety Report please visit www.nasc.org.uk/safety_reports or contact NASC directly for a hard copy.