Considering the risks associated with work at height and putting in place sensible and proportionate measures to manage them, is an important part of working safely. With the recent high winds the summer storms have sent us, this is extremely important.
As an employer, you have health and safety responsibilities for your workers whether they are on the ground, underground or working at height.
The purpose of The Work at Height Regulations 2005 (WAHR) is to prevent death and injury caused by a fall from height. Following these regulations is normally enough to comply but you are free to take further action, except where the guidance says you must do something specific.
Falls from height are one of the biggest causes of workplace fatalities and major injuries. Common causes are falls from ladders and through fragile roofs.
Work at height means work in any place where, if there were no precautions in place, a person could fall a distance liable to cause personal injury.
Managing work at height follows a hierarchy of controls – avoid, prevent, arrest. First and foremost, you must ask yourself “can the work be done safely from the ground?” Fall restraints and safety netting should only be considered as a last resort if other safety equipment cannot be used.
- Assess the risks by completing Risk Assessment(s), take precautions, and issue clear method statements for everyone who will work at height including how they can get safely to and from the area that they need to work at from height
- Plan safe access for Roof work, and prevent falls from edges and openings.
- When working on or near fragile surfaces – avoid, control, communicate, co-operate. Take precautions.
- When it’s appropriate to use ladders – follow the 3 key safety issues – position, condition and safe use. Ensure the equipment is suitable, stable and strong enough for the job, maintained and checked regularly
- If using Tower scaffolds, make sure you select the right tower for the job. Erect it, use it safely, move and dismantle it safely; ensure that it is stable; inspect it regularly; prevent falls.
Some simple tips to consider when working at height:
- make sure you don’t overload or overreach
- provide protection from falling objects
- consider your emergency evacuation and rescue procedures
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.