The potential danger of mobile tower lights as a health and safety hazard on construction sites and at outdoor events continues to be largely ignored, according to a new national survey unveiled this week (Friday 8 April) by Heimdall, the country’s fastest growing manufacturer.
The survey revealed that a staggering 75% of all those questioned agreed that mobile tower lights had health and safety issues, with 35% admitting they have had problems in the past, but researchers were shocked to find that – some 62% admitted that they had never received any kind of health and safety advice when handling this kind of equipment.
“This was an electronic survey sent out to some 20,000 construction professionals,” said Matthew Wordsworth, joint managing director of Heimdall. “We had 738 replies of which 672 answered the full questionnaire, so a large enough sample to record trends that suggest that there is health and safety issues regarding mobile tower lights which the industry needs to address.”
“At Heimdall we have already anticipated such problems which were covered in our survey. Our mobile tower lights cannot be moved on site while the mast is still erect; we have systems that respond to high winds or changing ground conditions to eliminate stability issues which could have resulted in the light falling over. These advanced features, exclusive to Heimdall, obviously mean that our lights are more expensive than those of our competitors – another issue highlighted in the survey – but what price can you put on health and safety?”
The sample survey, which consisted of 28% of respondents who worked in the civils area with 62% representing general construction and outdoor events, fully admitted that price was the major factor when hiring or purchasing mobile tower lights.
Some 58% of those surveyed said that the cheapest price is the main factor when choosing a mobile tower light with just 20% saying they would consider health and safety first. Of the sample 52% used mobile tower lights on every project.
The survey showed that there was obviously confusion in the market relating to health and safety with 58% recognising the danger from high winds but just 3% citing overhead electrical cables as a danger.
This was particularly concerning with 43% admitting that they had seen mobile tower lights moved on site while the mast was still upright and over 55% saying that they have in the past been asked to deploy this equipment on soft or unstable ground – both major health and safety issues.
Worldwide, some 12 death were recorded using mobile tower lights and similar equipment and Heimdall say this could have been avoided if the industry fully understood the inherent dangers associated with the existing mobile tower lights on the market.
“We shall continue to keep campaigning to raise awareness of the risks associated with the current lights on the market’ said Matthew Wordsworth. “Let’s hope it will not take another death before everyone wakes up.”