News article

Guidance for construction industry on preventing internal falls

21 May 2020

HSENI has launched a new construction campaign on preventing internal falls

The Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI) has launched a new campaign on preventing internal falls for the construction industry.

Internal Falls Are Preventable is urging people to use the correct equipment when working at height as falls from height remains one of the biggest causes of death, disability and injury in construction.

Activities requiring internal fall protection
Internal fall protection must be used when carrying out the following activities: 

  • stripping, dismantling and refurbishing roofs
  • installing joists or roof trusses
  • dismantling or installing roof sheets and side panelling on commercial buildings
  • fixing battens or tile supports and roof tiles
  • installing concrete floor slabs or stairs
  • working near or over fragile surfaces
  • working adjacent to voids in the roof and floor

Protection methods
A list of recognised methods of internal fall protection that can be hired or purchased throughout Northern Ireland are:   

  • proprietary decking systems
  • birdcage scaffold
  • safety trellis (extendable aluminium trellis)
  • boarding out the inside of the roof using timber
  • safety nets - so long as there is adequate clearance below and anchorage points which have been assessed by a competent person prior to the nets being installed
  • inserting air bags/bean bags as soft landing systems
  • harnesses which should be the last option considered and only used by workers who have been trained in their use

HSENI is asking for help from all aspects of industry to ensure the message #internalfallsarepreventable is promoted to help prevent further fatalities.

Read HSENI guidance on preventing internal falls.

First published 21 May 2020