A Safety Guide to Working at Height

Working at height poses significant risks, contributing to a substantial number of fatalities and injuries globally. In the UK alone, falls from height have accounted for 25% of fatal injuries in the workplace during the past few years. Let’s take you through the critical importance of implementing strict working at height regulations for anyone involved in tasks above ground level.


Before You Work from Height

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) strongly advises avoiding work at height where possible. However, if it cannot be avoided, thorough planning is essential. Ensure that operators are competent, possess the right training, wear appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), and have conducted a comprehensive working at height risk assessment. This includes checking training certificates, and considering the specific equipment being used, such as Mobile Elevated Work Platforms.


Training and PPE

Operators must undergo both working at height and harness training with correct equipment controls and operations. Adequate PPE, including hard hats, steel-toe boots, harnesses, lanyards, hi-vis jackets, and other gear as needed, is crucial. Check training certificates are up to date and prepare the correct equipment to ensure that everyone is prepared and following the correct working at height regulations.


Risk Assessment

A thorough working at height risk assessment is a prerequisite before any work at height begins. This process helps identify potential risks, allowing for the implementation of actions and precautions to prevent accidents. Regularly reviewing and recording assessments is essential to adapt to changing conditions and maintain a safe working environment.


Rescue Plan

A Rescue Plan is mandatory for emergencies, ensuring a swift response in case of a fall or suspension in a harness. Suspension Trauma, or harness-induced pathology, underscores the importance of prompt rescue. A person suspended for an extended period can lose consciousness, making a well-thought-out rescue plan a life-saving necessity.


Planned & Emergency Works

Planned work should utilise appropriate equipment such as Boom Lifts, Scissor Lifts, and Access Platforms. In unplanned or emergency situations, ‘Man Cage’ Access Platforms can be deployed for immediate access. Regular equipment inspections, clear communication about working at height, and vigilant environmental awareness are crucial elements in preventing accidents.


Monitoring and Supervision

Throughout any work at height, continuous monitoring and supervision are imperative. A designated individual should be present to respond swiftly in case of emergencies, reinforcing the importance of teamwork and communication in ensuring everyone’s safety.


Please be safe.

Working at height demands meticulous planning, adherence to regulations, and a proactive approach to safety. By prioritising training, PPE, risk assessments, and rescue plans, we can significantly reduce the risks associated with working at height, ultimately fostering a safer and more secure workplace.

If you or your team are working at height, have a look at PLT Training’s Working At Height Training course to make sure you stay accident free.

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