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Manual Handling Training in Bristol

Industry Spotlight: Working at Height By Acorn Health & Safety

Current accident statistics show falls from a height as a significant cause of injuries to workers in the construction industry, however, working at heights is one of the greatest risks taken within many other industries and therefore clear safety information and consideration is required when anyone is working at height.

Hazards: Falls from heights are a regular cause of fatal and serious injuries. The three main hazards associated with working at height are, a person falling, falling objects striking someone, and falls from collapsing structures

Risk assessment: A place is ‘at height’ if a person could be injured falling from it, even if it is at, or below ground level. Employers and the self-employed should carry out a risk assessment before working at height is undertaken to find out what health and safety measures need to be adopted to avoid the hazard or to reduce risk. The overriding principle is that you must do all that is reasonably practicable to prevent anyone falling, by avoiding work at height, or using equipment or other measures to prevent falls where working at height cannot be avoided or utilising other control measures to minimise the distance and consequence of a fall should one occur.

Responsibilities: All work at height must be properly planned, supervised and organised. This will require co-operation and communication between all parties. Account must be taken of weather conditions that could endanger safety. This may be particularly relevant depending on the location of the work.

All those working at height must be trained and competent. The requirements for training and competence will depend on the work being done, but they should have sufficient skills, knowledge and experience to perform the work tasks.

The place of work must be safe. Temporary platforms should be designed by a competent person and built by trained and competent people (or under the supervision of a competent person). Existing places of work should be reviewed to see if any measures are needed to ensure compliance with the Work at Height Regulations which require inspections of workplaces and equipment, including any fall prevention equipment.

Falls: There are numerous ways of preventing falls. Edge protection, guardrails and toe boards, and maintaining a safe distance from an edge, safety netting/airbags, and safety harnesses to name a few.

Temporary access equipment: Temporary access equipment can include scaffolding, tower scaffolds, ladders, mobile elevating work equipment and other access equipment, all of which should be properly maintained and regularly inspected, particularly if being used outside.

Defective equipment should to be clearly identified and removed from service.

In all cases, the manufacturer’s instructions regarding use of equipment should be closely followed.

We provide a comprehensive range of working at height training courses covering everything from steps and hop up’s through to fixed scaffold and scissor lifts. You can  book onto one of our courses now

Roger Broadbent