Don’t Be A Fall Victim When Working At Height
Despite strict rules and regulations to ensure the safety of workers in the UK, working at height remains one of the most dangerous jobs in the UK today. Although we have some of the most stringent regulations in the world that are designed to ensure that risks are kept to the minimum, since 2001 an average of 50 people in Great Britain have died each year as a result of a fall from height whilst a further 8,702 are injured annually.
All Work at Height should be properly planned and appropriately supervised at all times. Furthermore, work at height should not be carried out during severe weather conditions which will make the whole business even more dangerous.
For those who are planning to work at height, you must be competent enough to complete the job safely and know how to erect, use and dismantle the selected access equipment. Those who are still undergoing training for working at height must be supervised by a competent person at all times.
The Work at Height Regulations were drawn up in order to prevent deaths and injuries whilst working at height and these regulations apply to all work at height where there is a chance that somebody would be injured if they fall. These regulations provide three simple rules for working at height:
- Avoid it if you can – if you don’t need to climb, then don’t do it.
- If working at height is unavoidable, then you need to select and use the right type of access equipment for the job at hand.
- You need to minimise the impact of any fall. If you cannot eliminate the risk of falling, then you need to select work equipment to minimise the distance of the fall should one occur.
Work at height should only be carried out by someone who is trained to do so and competent enough to finish the job safely.
Although all roof work carries an element of risk, working on fragile roofs adds to the risks involved. Deaths caused by a fall through a fragile roof (or fragile roof lights) account for nearly a fifth of all fatal accidents which occur after a fall from height in the construction industry. When work on a flat roof is necessary to carry out maintenance, the use of a rooftop demarcation system is recommended – these can usually be installed quite easily and without any special training.
The UK is one of the safest countries in the world in which to work in the construction industry – the Work at Height Regulations were developed with We’ll probably never totally eliminate the risks involved with working at height but following the proper procedures is essential to keep yourself as safe as possible. There is a wealth of information available from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) on the legal requirements involved with those who work at height and this is required reading for both employers and workers in many industries in the UK where working at height is a requirement of the job.