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100725_Oberriet_Hochspannungsmast

The media is filled with news of accidents involving a fall from height. Usually, only a fraction of what actually happened is reported. The details and background are often left out.

These accidents are only the tip of the iceberg; statistically, for every 1000 cases where the conditions are considered negligent, 100 will result in an accident. Of those 100, 10 will involve a permanent disability and one will have fatal consequences.

In the last 10 years in Switzerland, there have been 5,300 fatal or debilitating accidents involving a fall!

Example 1: Roofer

Example 2: Fall from a transmission tower

Example 3: Roofer attacked by wasps

Example 4: Fall from a transmission tower

Example 5: Fall from a gantry

(Source: Suva/VT/2010: Cases of accidents covered by Suva)

Falling from a height continues to be a major risk for many workers in Switzerland. The statistics gathered over the past years paint an unfortunate picture:

  • One person dies every two weeks by falling on the job (25 fatal accidents a year).
  • Every day a falling accident occurs involving permanent injuries.
  • Ø9000 job-related falling accidents occur yearly in Switzerland.
  • Ø270 million CHF in damages paid per year for falling accidents. This is a quarter of all damages paid out yearly for on-the-job accidents by Suva. · One falling accident costs Suva
  • Ø26,000 CHF. By comparison, any other accident costs Ø 5,000 CHF.
  • A falling accident resulting in permanent disability costs Ø 470,000 CHF.
  • One permanent disability case can result in costs up to 2.5 million CHF.
  • Almost every third job-related accident involving death or permanent disability is a falling accident.
  • The main causes of falling accidents are incorrect preparation, lack of training, as well as overestimating one’s abilities.

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