A Short Guide to Working at Height

As a family business, the Safety Maintenance Company provides an extensive range of training services for a variety of industries. One of the main training industries we serve is working at height. It’s important to be mindful of all the dangers and precautions associated with working at height. By investing in quality training, you can ensure your employees are fully equipped to carry out their duties.

Our training team possesses unrivalled expertise and aims to ensure you receive the best experience. Providing first-class service and meeting clients’ needs are our top priorities. Today, we breakdown some of the risks and best practices of working at height. To view our range of training programs, visit our website at https://www.thesmcl.co.uk/.

The Risks

Thousands of deaths result every year from poor working practices while working at height. Even greater numbers of serious nonfatal injuries result from the same problem. When working on ladders, scaffolds, and platforms, it’s essential to be aware of the risks of working at height. You could easily fall, endangering yourself, or cause objects to fall from height, endangering those below. Those working in professions like house painting, decorating, building, window cleaning, and many others must prepare for the risks of working at height.

Risk Assessment

Risk assessment is key to staying safe while working at height. It will highlight any measures you should take to prevent accident or injury, including slips, trips, and falls. Start by assessing all risks associated with working at height. We recommend using the Health and Safety Executive’s five-step approach.

  1. Brainstorm the hazards associated with falls from height. Where do you require employees to work at height? What equipment do they use?
  1. Determine those at risk and how. Do you receive visitors to your workplace who could be at risk?
  1. Assess the risks each individually. What measures do you have in place to handle risks? Do you carry out regular inspections?
  1. Document your findings if you have more than five employees.
  1. Review your assessment on a regular basis. Relevant safety measures should match any changes to working practices.

Best Practices for Working at Height:

  • Using Ladders. It is only acceptable to use ladders for a short duration. Ensure you erect them at the correct angle, properly secured or footed, and positioned close to the work area.
  • Using Stepladders. When using stepladders, be sure to open them completely and lock them off. Never work on the top platform and only allow one person up at a time.
  • Working with Hired Access Equipment. Make sure any hired access equipment is fit for the purpose and properly maintained before use. Those erecting and using the equipment must also be competent to do so, possessing all relevant training.
  • Working on Mobile Elevated Platforms. Only use mobile elevated platforms on firm, level ground, with outriggers and stabilisers. You must also have a trained operator at ground level and wear safety harnesses while elevated.
  • Working on Scaffold Towers. All scaffold towers should be regularly maintained, erected by competent persons at a height-to-base dimension ratio not exceeding 3:1 inside or 2.5:1 outside. Use stabilisers and outriggers where necessary, with suitable ladder access to and from the scaffolding.

 

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