One of the biggest causes for injuries in the workplace is when someone has been tasked with Working at Height. It is for this reason that there is so much legislation surrounding safety practices while working at a height.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) states that working at height is classified as any work which takes place where a person can fall a distance high enough to potential cause injury if no precautions were taken, this includes:
In order to be permitted to work at height you must be deemed ‘competent’. This means that you have sufficient knowledge, experience, and skill to perform the task correctly and safely. If you are being trained to work at height, such as an apprentice, you can be considered as competent if you are under the supervision of someone who would fit the description of competency completely.
The required level of knowledge to be able to work at height is dynamic and dependent on the task to be undertaken and the working at height equipment used. For example, when working on a ladder for short periods of time, you may only require instructions on how to pre-use inspect the ladder for damage, properly secure it and climb it safely while carrying tools. More complicated tasks such as constructing scaffolding, mobile scaffold towers etc will require more stringent evidence of the person’s competency; this maybe the completion of an appropriate course such as IPAF, PASMA, CISRS.
The governing legislation for Working at Height is called the Work at Height Regulations 2005. These regulations define working at height as anyone who meets any of three conditions:
This with the Hierarchy of Prevention being the following, which should be considered when planning the works –
In line with this, the regulations set 5 criteria that the person responsible for ensuring safety must ensure are met when someone is working at height. These criteria are:
As Health and Safety Consultants, we believe that it is our duty to provide people with best advice possible on how to keep themselves and the people that they work with safe. With this in mind, here is our advice for working at height safely:
Watson & Watson Health and Safety Consultants are an IOSH Approved Training Provider and provide a wide range of training courses including comprehensive Working at Height training. If you wish to take part in one of our extensive training courses, call us on 01623 753 654 or contact us via the online form.
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