Cluttered stairs, kitchen hazards, doing gardening and occasional DIY… Did you know your home is statistically the most unsafe place to be? There are 6,000 accidental deaths in the UK every year, and many thousands more that result in life-changing injury and visits to A&E.
With Safer by design
, a framework to help house builders ensure the next generation of homes are safer, RoSPA aims to reduce these numbers with small, evidence-based changes to house design.
For example, by ensuring key elements of British Standard BS5395 are adopted, we could reduce the 30 deaths, 1,000-plus hospital admissions and 14,000 A&E attendances that occur every year on stairs built since 2010.
Safer by design: A framework to reduce serious accidental injury in new-build homes
has been developed with industry experts, and encourages house builders to go beyond current regulatory requirements for accident prevention.
It outlines low-cost, practical interventions that can be “designed in” to address issues such as falls, poisoning, entrapment and burns and scalds, and has already been adopted by leaders in the private and social housing sectors, with new homes set to be built using the guidance as early as next year.
If our homes are the most dangerous place to be, and that’s particularly true for the most vulnerable – the under-5s, the over-65s, and the most deprived in our society - unintentional injury places a huge burden on the country’s health and social care services, on the economy through lost working time, on companies through reduced productivity, and on the wellbeing of our families and loved ones.
The framework is the result of a partnership between RoSPA and Berkeley Group, which was strengthened after the house builder won the Sir George Earle Trophy – the top prize in the annual RoSPA Health and Safety Awards
. It is expected that Berkeley will complete homes built to a Safer by design
Gold standard at their Kidbrooke Village development in summer 2020. Another RoSPA partner and award-winner, Orbit Homes, will be the first housing association to use the framework in building its homes.
New homes and developments being built in line with the framework can apply for Safer by design
Silver, Gold or Platinum status. Points towards these standards are accrued for each recommendation within the framework that is adopted, with more points equalling a higher overall standard; each development is then able to display the Safer by design
Errol Taylor, chief executive, RoSPA
For more information on the framework, see www.rospa.com/built-environment
Posted: 12/12/2019 2:57:23 PM