Falls from height comprise 20% of all fatal accidents in the workplace. They are the third leading cause of fatal injuries. For example, in 2019, John Gary Robertson fell 30 feet from a pipe bridge at Longannet Power Station in Fife, Scotland. He was severely injured in the accident and later succumbed to his injuries.

In another incident, Stephen Picken, one of the best welders in the country, and his colleague Mark Kumar fell from height after a piece of metal struck their platform causing them to fall. Mr. Picken lost his life in the accident, but his colleague survived. Both accidents could have been avoided had the companies taken the right precautionary measures. Let’s look at how you can prevent falls from height in the workplace.

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1. Risk Assessment

Risk assessment involves finding potential risks and examining what could happen if an accident occurs. Employers are required by law to conduct a risk assessment to determine what could cause injuries in their business and the likelihood that someone could be harmed in the line of duty. Failure to do this could lead to huge fines. For example, demolition contractor CBRO2 was fined £5,000 for not recording the extremely hazardous condition of the pipe bridge at Longannet Power Station that resulted in the death of a worker.

2. Proper Communication

Lack of proper communication in the command chain can cause avoidable accidents at work. For example, in the case involving demolition contractor CBRO2, Scottish Power had highlighted that a section of the pipe bridge was extremely corroded, but CBRO2 failed to inform its employees. Adequate communication would have made employees aware of the situation, potentially saving the life of Mr. Robertson.

3. Planning

Most falls from height would be avoided if more planning took place before work commenced. If contract managers took time to conduct risk assessments and implement mitigating measures, the number of falls from height could be significantly reduced.

4. Provide The Right Safety Equipment

Working at height is risky. Therefore, you must provide your employees with the necessary safety equipment like harnesses, safety hats, scaffolding, fall arrest, and mobile elevated working platforms. Such equipment could be the difference between whether your employees survive or not during an accident. The right safety equipment can help save the lives of your employees during an accident. Here at Ability, we design, manufacture, and supply innovative and practical solutions for working at height. Contact us to learn more about our products or request a quote today.

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