‘’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
- 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.
Here is a video outlining the correct way to use ladders.
For any more information on working at height, visit this page.
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.