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.









Looking to see if you're eligible?

Get in touch for free legal advice

0808 159 7699

Call today to speak to an expert

OR
Start your claim

What Our Clients Think

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

Overall happy with Hudgell service.

"Overall happy with Hudgell service. The only thing what I would suggest to improve is… "

Miss Izabela

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

Due to a serious illness that …

"Due to a serious illness that progressively become life threatening due to a misdiagnocice. I… "

Mr Stewart Gowan

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

During the time of my claim Paul cain …

"During the time of my claim Paul cain has been brilliant at keeping me informed… "

Mrs Lynette Burton

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

Excellent solicitors from start to …

"Excellent solicitors from start to finish. Highly recommended. Well be using them again in future.… "

Mr Michael Bentley

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

Honest and reliable

"Honest and reliable. My solicitor was available whenever i needed to speak to her."

Miss Leanne Widdowson

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

Very professional from start to finish

"Very professional from start to finish, kept me informed every step of the way."

Mr Alan Walter Driscoll

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

5 STAR SOLICITORS

"Excellent company I would without doubt recommend this company for the way they handled my… "

JASON NOONAN

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

I am extremely happy with the way my case has been handled

"I am extremely happy with the way my case is being handled and so far… "

Mr Dennis Stacey

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

When I had an accident at work

"When I had an accident at work, my next door neighbour told me to make… "

Mr John Bottomley

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

Absolutely brilliant service from start …

"Absolutely brilliant service from start to finish. Was kept up to date with proceedings .… "

Mr Malcolm Smart

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

I couldn't praise hudgell solicitor's enough

"I couldn't praise hudgell solicitors high enough,I was kept in the know throughout my claim… "

Ashley

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

Excellent service and really quick pay …

"Excellent service and really quick pay out. Would highly recommend them to friends and family...Thank… "

Mr Stephen Lawry

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

Rebecca Cone was amazing

"Rebecca Cone was amazing! No delays No hassle No complications Quick turn over! Constantly been… "

Chelsea

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

I was extremely happy with the way my …

"I was extremely happy with the way my case was dealt with by Hudgell Solicitors.… "

Mrs Karen Chys

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

Regular contact with client

"Regular contact with client, prompt response to any queries. Professional and courteous."

Mrs Catherine Wilson

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

Friendly

"Friendly, efficient & supportive staff throughout"

Paul Westmorland

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

Hudgell Solicitors helped me with my … Needle Stick Injury.

"Hudgell Solicitors helped me with my claim for a Needle stick injury which occurred in… "

Tammy Chivers

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

Hudgell solicitors did a great job

"Hudgell solicitors did a great job. I was kept in the loop every step of… "

Ms Jemma Rex

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

I cannot thank Hudgel enough for all of …

"I cannot thank Hudgel enough for all of there help advice and support! Very professional… "

Mrs Amy Urwin

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

good contacts

"good contacts . nice system"

Mrs Paulina Kucharska

Rated 9.4 out of 10 based on 369 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