Working at height remains one of the most dangerous activities a worker can do, and it is no surprise that it remains one of the biggest causes of fatalities and major injuries in the U.K.
The purpose of the Work At Height Regulations 2005 is to prevent the fall from height in the first place, as this can lead to fatality or serious injury. The regulations are a set of rules, a standardised rulebook that must be followed when any work at height is undertaken.
The definition of working at height is any task where there is a risk of workers falling. This includes any work taking place above the ground, near an edge, opening, or surface, as well as at ground level if there is an opening or excavation.
Working At Height Responsibilities
It is the responsibility of the employer or work controller to ensure the latest work at height legislation is adhered to, a responsibility that is enforceable by law. There is also a provision for employees to follow the rules. They are in place to keep the individual worker, the team, and bystanders safe while work at height is carried out. It is important to follow the guidelines to keep everyone safe and remember; it is also illegal not to follow them. An employee is a representative of the company that employs them, and the actions of an individual affect the company too, both in image and reputation. Also, if an injury occurs, there is potential for loss of time and money as well as life.
The employer or work controller must ensure that any work at height is properly planned, appropriately supervised, and carried out by competent people with the correct knowledge, skills, and experience to do the job.
Safety Regulations Checklist
When working at height, there is a standardised set of working at height solutions that must be followed:
– Avoid working at height unless absolutely necessary due to the dangers involved. Work at ground level if able to do so.
– If possible, use an existing safe place to ensure work at height safety.
– Use the right equipment for the job, including the correct size, strength and positioning, to prevent overreaching and loss of balance.
– Provide protection from falling objects; the employees on the ground can be hurt, too.
– Ensure equipment is stable, strong, suitable for the job, and maintained and inspected at regular intervals.
– Do not overload ladders; consider the materials and equipment workers are carrying. Check the pictogram or label on the ladder for more information.
By following the regulations when working at height, you can help protect yourselves, and everybody around you, from injury.
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