The issue of working at height has surfaced to light as MPs are demanding a major review in a bid to cut the number of deaths and accidents caused by falls. Bob Fowler looks at how you can take simple steps to reduce the risk to workers whilst working at height.
Make sure that work is planned and supervised and undertaken by people with the skills and knowledge to do the job. Ensure that you are using the correct type of equipment and always undertake a risk assessment before the job.
When undertaking your risk assessment consider;
- try to avoid working at height where it is reasonably practicable to do so
- If working at height cannot be avoided, assess how to prevent falls by using the right equipment. With recent technological advancements, consider the use of drones to undertake conditional roof inspections
- Always look to minimise the distance and consequences of a fall
Our dos and don’ts for working at height include:
- Carry out as much work as possible from the ground
- Ensure that all equipment is suitable and maintained and checked regularly
- Take precautions when working on or near fragile surfaces
- Assess your emergency evacuation and rescue options
- Provide your workers with protection from potential falling objects.
- Use ladders for strenuous or heavy tasks; only use them for light work and for a short duration. Never use ladders for more than 30 minutes at a time
- Overload your ladders – always check the ladder label for load capacity information
- Overreach on ladders or stepladders
- Rest your ladders against weak surfaces such as glazing
- Let anyone who has not undertaken training to work at height.
For further advice on working at height, the HSE has a comprehensive working at height section on their website. We stock a range of access equipment, from steps, ladders, work platforms, ladder clamps as well as safety harnesses. For further advice, call our sales team today.
“Never use ladders for more than 30 minutes at a time.”