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Construction businesses have been warned by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to ensure they properly plan for work at height.

The body's inspector, Samantha Farrar, made the call after a company in Staffordshire was fined over an incident in which a worker suffered serious injuries - including a fractured skull - when he fell two metres from a step ladder.

She also emphasised the importance of using fall arrest equipment and other personal protective supplies by pointing out that falls from height remain one of the common causes for major injuries in the workplace.

'All work at height should be properly planned and organised,' she said.

'This incident highlights how vital it is for companies to ensure that that the risks from such work are suitably assessed and that appropriate work equipment is selected and used.'

Ms Farrar's comments have come after the north-west regional director of the HSE called on businesses in the area to cut the number of absences that they experience.

David Ashton made the comment after figures revealed that accidents and illness cost the area's economy £1.4 billion.

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