21.07.2006

Are you height aware?

Falls from height are a major cause of injuries at work. In many cases, work at
height is a 'one off' or incidental to the main job to be done. This means
people often don't recognise the risks and so don't take the precautions they
need to, to work safely.

What is 'work at height'?

Any work that involves people being in a position from which they could fall
and injure themselves.

What is the problem?

Falling from height is the most common cause of workplace deaths.

What do you need to do ?

Plan properly

  • Think about the work you do and identify all the activities which involve
    work at height, don't forget one-off jobs and tasks which only take a few
    minutes.
  • Don't underestimate the risks, assess them - simply 'taking care' is not
    enough.

Avoid 'work at height' where possible

  • Use different equipment or method of work ­ check what new equipment is
    available to buy or hire.
  • Think about how fixtures and fittings, plant and services could be designed
    or installed to avoid the need to work at height.

Select the right equipment and people

  • Where possible, use equipment which prevents a fall, eg podium steps, cherry
    pickers or tower scaffolds, which have a working platform and guard rails ­
    don't make do to save money or time.
  • Check contractors are competent and have the experience to carry out the type
    of work you need to have done.

Train those doing the work

  • Make sure they know how to use the equipment properly, including erecting and
    dismantling it safely.
  • Check contractors have suitable training, ask to see certificates.

Inspect and maintain

  • Make sure all equipment is regularly inspected - damaged equipment must
    either be repaired or taken out of use.

Supervise and monitor


  • Check work is being carried out as planned and the right equipment is being
    used.

Further info


AplusA-online.de - Source: Health and Safety Executive