Working at height is a common feature of many workplaces. Accidents involving falls from height are the second most common cause of workplace death and injury, according to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). This guide looks at the different types of work at height solutions and why employees need to receive training before using any work at height access equipment that could put them at risk.

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1. Avoid Working At Height

Do everything you can from ground level to minimise the time you spend at risk.

2. Provide Collective Protection

To prevent falls from height, the most important thing you can do is provide edge protection. You should always choose the most appropriate and effective methods for your workplace.

Options include:

• Guardrails (must be 950mm in height with no gaps greater than 470mm)
• Toe boards (must be 150mm in height)
• Barriers and/or physical barriers such as brick guards

3. Providing Personal Protective Equipment

Personal protective equipment (PPE) can reduce the risk of injury. You should provide PPE such as a personal fall arrest system and/or a personal fall restraint system. These are specialised systems of harnesses, ropes, lanyards, and anchor points. You must ensure that your workers use these systems correctly.

4. Training Employees On Using Equipment Correctly

In addition to the general health and safety training requirements for all employees, your company should also provide specific training for employees who use equipment for work at height. This includes:

• How to safely use the equipment
• How to inspect the equipment
• When to inspect the equipment
• The hazards associated with using it
• Any risks associated with its use and how to mitigate these risks

This information should be provided by a competent person who is familiar with the equipment being used. The employee should receive this training before starting work or during initial training, when new equipment is introduced, when new procedures are implemented, or new hazards are identified.

5. Inspecting Every Piece Of Equipment

All equipment used for working at height should be inspected regularly. Inspecting your equipment will help ensure that it is in good condition and safe to use. Performing maintenance on work equipment also helps to ensure safety. Make sure the equipment is in good working order and perform maintenance where necessary.

For more information about implementing a safe system of work for working at height, contact the experts at Ability International today.

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