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Workplace Safety

Working at Heights – How to Stay Safe

By
July 31, 2017

Working at Height: How You Can Stay Safe

The Working at height regulations 2005 were introduced to prevent deaths and injuries to people who work at height in the course of their jobs.

Falls from height are one of the biggest causes of workplace deaths and significant injuries. The most common causes of accidents that happen to people who work from height are falls from and through roofs.

How to stay safe when working at height

Before you carry out any work at height, think about trying to avoid working at height where possible. If it can’t be avoided, make sure your work area is as safe as possible and you are using well maintained and appropriate equipment.

Who do the regulations apply to?

If you are an employer, or you are responsible for implementing working at height processes, the regulations apply to you. There are also a set of rules for architects and others involved in the building design process.

How do you comply with the regulations?

Employers and anyone else who is in charge of people who work at height should make sure that work tasks are properly planned, risk assessed, supervised, and carried out by adequately trained people. The right equipment should be used for working at height.

Planning work at height

Things to consider:

  • Will the weather conditions compromise safety?
  • Is the area where the work is going to be carried out safe?
  • Is there an emergency plan in place in case of an accident or injury?

Employee responsibility

Employees must:

  • report any safety hazard they identify in the course of their work to their employer
  • use any equipment and safety devices given to them in order to carry out their work tasks as safely as possible

What happens if the regulations are not followed?

There are some notable cases where fines and prison sentences have been handed out for non-compliance with the working at height regulations:

In 2014, a property developer was sent to prison for 2 ½ years, after he breached regulations that were put in place to keep workers safe as they were redeveloping an office block in Essex.

In 2012, 2 companies were fined when it was discovered that a scaffold tower had not been properly erected, which had caused an employee to fall from it. He fractured 2 vertebrae and was off sick from work for nearly 7 months.

How can we help?

We sell equipment that can help if you’re working at height.

For example, our heavy duty order picking trolley can help you to work safely and productively, and it’s a great investment. It’s made from sturdy powder coated steel, and it has an integrated step ladder which is ideal if you need to work at various heights in your workplace. The trolley locks securely in place when the ladder is in use.

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