Safety Tips for Working at Heights

In April 2005, a new law was introduced about working at height. This law details the mandatory requirements for all employers, where the nature of their business assumes that their employees will work as high as possible, or where there is a risk of falling which can cause injury.

Falling from work at height constitutes almost 25% of all work-related deaths every year. In 2003/4 falling from a height in the work environment resulted in 67 deaths and nearly 4000 major injuries in the UK alone. These very high numbers resulted in the creation of the work at height regulations 2005, which came into force on April 6, 2005.

Workers should take working at heights course before work in any construction site. This law places the duty of care for employers, entrepreneurs, and other people who control the work of others, for example, facility managers or building owners who can make others contracted to work.

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Although modern equipment such as scissor lifts, cherry pickers, elevator booms and safety harnesses, which significantly reduces the risk of falling from working at height, it is still important that each part of the work carried out comprehensively be assessed as a risk.

Risk assessment does not only include precautions and safety measures that must be completed by the employee, but also the steps that need to be followed to ensure the equipment is maintained to a satisfactory standard.

It is very important for employers to remember that writing risk assessments alone are not the end of their responsibilities to their employees. Employers are also responsible for ensuring that employees know and understand relevant risk assessments, are informed of any changes made to the assessment, and have access to read risk assessments when and when they need them.

The responsibility for documentation of staff training, evidence that the employee understands the risk assessment and the storage of the risk assessment itself in an accessible location is also in the hands of the employer.