Prevention of falls to a lower level

Evaluation of an occupational health and safety intervention via subsidies for the replacement of scaffolding
The objective of this study is to evaluate the impact of a subsidy policy for construction companies in Andalusia (Spain), which enables them to acquire new scaffolds. The rate of falls from scaffolds within the Andalusian construction sector in the period 2009-2011 was analysed. A randomised controlled trial was not possible as the subsidy was granted according to a public and competitive call. A quasi-experimental design based on an intervention group (subsidised companies) and a control group was chosen. Companies in the control group were selected from the social security census of companies in order to avoid selection bias. The subsidy policy has led to an overall 71% decrease in the rate of accident involving falls to a lower level in the companies that received grants in the period 2009-2011. The confidence interval for the comparison for the before-after difference in rates between the intervention group and the control group is found significant (confidence 95%, p = 0.05). The improvement of scaffolds was effective in reducing rates of accident with falls to a lower level. This intervention should be a priority in public policies. The process of standardisation of equipment with high accident risk should be developed further.

Source : Rubio-Romero JC, Carrillo-Castrillo JA, Gibb A. Int. J. Inj. Control Safe. Promot. 2013.

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