Working at heights is a standard work task in most workplaces. However, it is accountable for most of the causes of deaths and injuries in the workplace. According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), falls from heights are among the most common causes of occupational fatalities, with an estimated 647,000 work-related deaths each year. This fact shows how working at heights can be a considerable concern, and carelessness while working at heights can be as dangerous as you can imagine. In this blog, we will guide you on the rules and regulations that make it an employer’s responsibility to protect the health and safety of their workers and other topics that follow.
Working at Height Regulations
Table Of Contents
The legislation of working at height is the Work at Height Regulations 2005, which aims to prevent deaths and injuries caused by falls from height in the workplace. The regulation applies to all work at heights where there is a risk of falls and places a responsibility on the employer to maintain the well-being of their employees by implementing good health and safety policies. The Working at Height Regulations 2005 covers a range of activities, including:
- The use of a ladder or stepladder
- Work on a flat, scaffold, or elevated mobile platform
- Work on the back or top of a lorry
- Not working on areas where there is a chance of falling from the edge, or through an opening, or working on a fragile surface
- Working at the lowest ground level possible
There are specific responsibilities that the Working at Height Regulations 2005 place upon employers. Here are some of the following:
- Risk assessment is a crucial aspect of working at height. Employers should conduct a working at height risk assessment to minimize the threats before starting any work at height. Further, conducting a risk assessment would allow the employer and the worker to identify the risk involved in the work and the measures that must be taken to reduce those risks.
- After assessing the risks, the employer should ensure that adequate control measures are put in place to reduce those threats, these control measures include providing personal protective equipment and machinery for aid.
- Ensuring the surface on which the worker would be working at height is safe and robust enough to hold the worker’s weight.
- Fall of any object from height can cause injury to someone it comes in contact with. So effective measures should be taken to prevent this.
- Taking steps to ensure that the worker working at height should not have to take unnecessary steps while performing their task at peak to avoid any fall or problem.
- Reporting the risk or defect to the manager or the supervisor related to activities while working at height. Doing so would allow the supervisor to take the necessary steps to reduce the risk and solve the problem.
Working at Heights Regulations 2005: Training
Working at Height Regulation 2005 emphasizes the training of an employee who will work at-height tasks. Therefore, it is an employer’s responsibility to provide appropriate working at height training to their staff to ensure that they can perform their job efficiently while at height. Working at heights is not a task that many could do so quickly. Being on heights requires not to fear of heights. It is unlikely that an incompetent person would be able to work at height. Working at height training teaches an individual the critical elements of performing work at peak and the essential steps to take before working, such as risk assessment. By providing your employees with appropriate training, you can ensure their competency and skillset in effectively performing their tasks at height.
Best practices for working at heights
Working at height can be dangerous and result in severe injury or even death if proper safety measures are not taken. Whether working on a construction site, a roof, or any other elevated area, it’s essential to follow best practices for working at height to ensure your safety and the safety of others around you. Here are some of the best practices for working at height:
- Conducting a thorough risk assessment
- Using proper personal protective equipment (PPE)
- Planning the work carefully
- Ensure proper training
- Use fall protection
- Maintain a clean and organized work area
- Following all relevant regulations and guidelines
Safety rules for working at heights
Try avoiding the need to work at height wherever possible. If your task can be replaced by another safer work or is made more accessible by using a machine, then it is recommended to go for the safer option; in this case, it is to substitute the task or use a device for aid.
Selecting the best and proper work equipment for safety. You must know how to use these safety tools effectively and make the most out of them. To do so, you would require proper training on PPE.
- Inspecting your PPE
- Locating airbags as close to the working area so that they could save the person from being heavily injured while falling.
- Always have the proper emergency rescue procedures available at the place of work.
- Always follow the instructions and safety guidelines provided to maximize your safety.
- Having a strong and adequately locked anchor point.
- Never use equipment, such as a scaffold, when damaged or faulty.
- Being aware of when and what type of fall protection is required.
In conclusion, following the rules and regulations for working at heights is essential to minimize the risk associated with this activity. Workers can prevent accidents by implementing best practices, adhering to safety rules, and following regulations and guidelines. This blog has provided a comprehensive guide on the law implemented while working at height, known as Working at Heights Regulations 2005. This regulation dictates that the employer is legally responsible for implementing good health and safety policies in the workplace to protect the well-being of workers working at heights. Further, this blog has guided on the best safety rules and practices to follow when working at height. This includes conducting a risk assessment, PPE, and training of the employees. By doing so, employers and workers can ensure that they and their colleagues can work safely and avoid the severe consequences of falls from heights. Remember, safety is everyone’s responsibility, and by working together, we can create a safer workplace for all.