The Health and Safety Inspectorate’s annual report reveals that 36 enforcement notices were issued in 2019, of which 32 cases related to unsafe scaffolding or inadequate safety measures for those working at height.
Director of Health and Safety Tammy Fage said the pattern seen in 2019 had continued this year, with half of the 18 enforcement notices issued in the first half of 2020 relating to the same issue. ‘Failure to manage work at height remains our biggest concern. We are continuing to work with the Jersey Safety Council and Jersey Construction Council to tackle this,’ she said.
The report highlights cases where enforcement notices have not achieved the desired effect, with seven employers facing court action during 2019 and being fined for failure to comply with the Health and Safety at Work law.
Other areas of focus during 2019 saw hotels and guest houses reminded of the need to take adequate measures to prevent falls from upstairs windows and balconies.
After three falls during 2018, including the death of a guest at the Revere Hotel, the HSI followed up an awareness-raising campaign with visits to 21 premises in late 2019.
Although around half of the venues visited had not taken adequate steps regarding the risk of falls from windows, Mrs Fage said this work had taken place during the winter off-season. Three cases in which enforcement notices were issued had been resolved without the need for prosecution, she added.
Other organisations targeted were those hiring bouncy castles, following a number of injuries in the UK, and companies using potentially unsafe commercial dough mixers. Jersey saw an overall rise of around 10% in claims for short-term incapacity allowance during 2019.
Mrs Fage said that everyone had a part to play, including employers, employees, professional bodies and others. ‘Whilst continuing to strive for improved standards of safety there also needs to be an increasing focus on improving health, which, for many reasons, has typically been given less attention than safety,’ she said.