01482 778 463

We're here to help 01482 778 463

CLAIM ONLINE
Hudgell Solicitors™ | Latest News | Steps for mastering the basics when working at height

Steps for mastering the basics when working at height

Working at height


Mastering the basics of working at height is vital to keeping your employees safe – this is what you need to know.

Accidents while working at height continue to be a major contributor to recorded injuries and deaths for British workers. According to the most recent workplace safety statistics (http://www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/overall/hssh1415.pdf) published by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), more than half of employees cite slips, trips or falls as a risk factor when doing their jobs.

Working at any height always involves risk

Almost every activity that is conducted above floor level is classed as working at height. So whether your employee is reaching for boxes on a low shelf using a moveable step-type device, or working on a building site covered in scaffolding, both employees are technically working at height.

And although one of these scenarios seems far less risky – using a moveable step – there is still a risk of serious injury should the employee fall. Broken limbs, sprains and even serious brain injuries have all been caused by relatively small falls in the past, so you should approach any ‘working at height’ scenario with the same attention to risk.

Mastering the basics

Like most health and safety issues, the key to preventing accidents is to exercise common sense. When assessing a task, you simply need to consider:

  • The person involved in the task – do they have sufficient skills and training to do the job safely?
  • The equipment involved in the task – is it well maintained, does it conform to the necessary standards and can it be secured in place?
  • The environment – are there any contributing risk factors that need to be addressed before work begins, like having a level floor, or the presence of overhead cables?

Answering these most fundamental questions will help you flesh out a workable risk assessment that better protect your employees.

Employee training

Your risk assessment also needs to place some responsibility on the user for checking that their equipment is safe and ready to use before beginning work. Every time a ladder is deployed, your employees need to check the condition of the equipment, including the condition of the feet and rungs themselves. The HSE website has a very useful photographic reference guide (http://www.hse.gov.uk/work-at-height/leaning-ladders.htm) that can be used for training.

Employees will need to know the specifics of the equipment – how it is set up, how to secure the equipment, and the placement of handholds and similar to assist with keeping their balance. Beyond the equipment itself, training should cover the minimum number of contact points required to work safely on a ladder.

Again, the HSE has a useful resource – the Work at Height Access equipment Information Toolkit (WAIT) (http://www.hse.gov.uk/work-at-height/wait/wait-tool.htm) – will help you narrow down the list of appropriate options, based on several environmental factors applicable to a specific task. Using WAIT will greatly assist in improving your risk assessment.

Choice of equipment

In the same way that a claw hammer is unsuitable for driving piles, a stepladder is the wrong choice of equipment to access external fittings several storeys above the ground.

Again, there are basic factors that will help you define the right ladder/platform/scaffolding for a job:

  • Whether a step or leaning ladder is most suitable.
  • The load bearing capabilities of ladders that will be used to transport heavy goods and materials.
  • Whether a ladder really is the most appropriate choice of equipment. Some jobs will need more extensive support, like scaffolding. Others may even require rope access.
  • The actual maximum height at which the task will be carried out.

The right tools are essential for getting the job done and protecting your employees against injury.

Applicable legislation

As well as your responsibilities under the Health and Safety at Work Act, there are other regulations that apply such as the Working at Height Regulations 2005 (WAH). Staying on top of these developments are vital to keeping your projects legal, and your workers safe – which means keeping a close eye on new developments.

Back in April the British Standards Institution code of practice for the safe use of construction hoists was revised for instance. The first update in ten years, BS7212 has been revised to include additional requirements for maintenance, inspection and routine examination of hoists installed on site. This may not be directly to working at height, but the code has a bearing on the safety of your workers.

If you find that keeping up-to-date is too time consuming, your business should consider partnering with an advice service (like Veritas Consulting) that can provide specific advice whenever you need it.

Don’t forget your subcontractors

Your site safety provisions must also cover subcontractors – those working at height, and any responsible for related tasks, like assembling tower scaffolding. You should make sure that they have up-to-date skills related to the tasks you have employed them to do – such as holding a valid PASMA card. (For more details visit http://www.pasma.co.uk)

Do not hesitate to monitor their performance and remedy problems as the job progresses – these checks will help to address problems before they can result in an accident. They will also ensure that your subcontractors are performing and that the project is progressing as planned and safely.

Workplace safety standards continue to improve, causing a fall in the number of employee injuries and fatalities reported every year. However, any job that involves working at height still presents a real, manageable risk to your workers – form more help and advice, please get in touch.

A guest post by David Cant.

Infographic - Working at Height

No Comments

Leave a Reply

*Required

Request a callback

Request a callback from a solicitor

 I am an existing client.









What Our Clients Think

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

A very professional efficient service.

"A very professional efficient service."

Mr Anderson

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

I can honestly Say that it has been a …

"I can honestly Say that it has been a privilege to be represented by a… "

Mr Robert Kennedy

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Claim against Met Police

"Apart from when purchasing property, I have virtually no experience of working with solicitors. I… "

Mr Ray Dickinson

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Excellent service

"Excellent service"

Mr Kevin Daniel Hughes

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Extremely professional

"Extremely professional and considerate staff. Helpful every step,and always contactable."

Mrs Naomi Walsh

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

mrPAWEL MADRY

"VERY GOOD SOLICITORS.THANK YOU/I RECOMMEND"

Mr Pawel Madry

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

An excellent company to deal with

"An excellent company to deal with. Very efficient & professional with a personal touch. Kept… "

Myra Phillips

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Very good communication between myself …

"Very good communication between myself and Hudgell resulting in a very satisfactory outcome"

Mrs Judith Kirkpatrick

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Very good and friendly people

"Very good and friendly people"

Mr Nisar Ahmad Ahmadi

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Excellent advice throughout

"Excellent advice throughout, kept up to date at all times, Would highly recommended"

Alan Beaumont

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

very helpful from the start

"very helpful from the start. Kept in touch to keep me up to date with… "

Miss Felicity Warrack

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

A solicitor that listens and doesn't judge.

"I hope I never have to go through anything like it again but if I… "

Linda Nicholson

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Thank you for your support especially …Jade

"Thank you for your support especially by Jade again you for understanding my case. Graham… "

Mr Graham Eccles

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Renu could not have been …

"Renu could not have been better,excellent service"

Mrs Jane Jones

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Professional first class company

"Professional first class company"

Mr Davies

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Before instructing Hudgells we couldn't …

"Before instructing Hudgells we couldn't even extract an apology from the defendant so to come… "

Joanne

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Great service

"fr endless staff made the process easy, great communication throughout. Would recommend."

Jimmy

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Amy Wilkinson has been very profession …and

"Amy Wilkinson has been very professional and patient with my enquiries also very helpful, so… "

Sharan Hatch

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Happy Chappy.

"I was kept up to date with any changes, treated with respect and honesty and… "

James

Rated 9.2 out of 10 based on 334 reviews

Powered by Trustpilot

© 2017 Hudgell Solicitors®. All Rights Reserved.

Hudgell Solicitors is a trading name of Neil Hudgell Limited | Director Dr. Neil Hudgell MA LLB (Hons) LLD | Registered in England No. 7078429 | Authorised and Regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority | SRA No. 521372 | VAT Registration No. 254 7802 90