WORKING AT HEIGHT

‘’Work at height means work in any place where, if precautions were not taken, a person could fall a distance liable to cause personal injury.’’ (HSE, 2014)

WAH has many health & safety risks, therefore, it should only be undertaken when unavoidable.

When undertaking WAH, you must:

  • Use appropriate equipment and have had been trained to use it correctly (see Figure 1 below)
  • Always check that the equipment is safe to use
  • Report any equipment you think is faulty
  • Make sure to never work at height when alone

 

ladder-with-large-footprint

(Figure 1. Woodward, 2016) Ladder with a large footprint

WAH includes:

  • Working on a ladder
  • A flat roof
  • Working near an opening in a floor or hole in the ground

Statistics show that ‘’falls from height were the most common cause of fatalities accounting for 31% of fatal injuries to workers. (HSE, 2014)

Certain regulations have been put into place to ensure safety when working at height:

  • Health and Safety at Work Act (1974)
  • WAH Regulations (2005)
  • PUWER (1998)
  • LOLER (1998)

When using a ladder, it is important to ensure that you have 3 points of contact at all times. An example of this is shown below in Figure 2.

3-points-of-contact-ladder-safety

(Figure 2. Anon. 2016)

Here is a video outlining the correct way to use ladders.

For any more information on working at height, visit this page.


References

HEALTH AND SAFETY EXECUTIVE (HSE). 2014. Health and safety executive slips & trips and falls from height in Great Britain, 2014. Available at: http://www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/causinj/slips-trips-and-falls.pdf [accessed 27 October 2016].

Here: SAFEWORK NSW. 2016. Safe use of ladders Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q89cH24f37k [accessed 27 October 2016].

Work at height – frequently asked questions. 2014. [online]. Available at: http://www.hse.gov.uk/work-at-height/faqs.htm [accessed 27 October 2016].

Work at height – occupational health and safety. 2015. [online]. Available at: http://www.hse.gov.uk/work-at-height/index.htm [accessed 27 October 2016].

Figure 2. n.d. [online]. Available at: https://madsif.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/3-points-of-contact-ladder-safety.png [accessed 27 October 2016].

Figure 1. Woodward, Jack, 2016.

 

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