It’s no surprise that working from height comes with elevated risks.
However, recent HSE data revealed that UK employers across industry lines are failing to implement the necessary safety measures to protect their employees during such operations.
In fact, falls from height accounted for almost 30% of total worker fatalities in Great Britain this past year. They contributed to 40 employee deaths and 40,000 non-fatal injuries.
Aside from workplace injuries and fatalities, experiencing a fall from height disaster on-site can result in a variety of costly consequences. Your organisation could suffer from reduced productivity levels, poor employee morale, and hefty health and safety fines. There may also be legal ramifications under the Work at Height Regulations 2005, and reputational damage to your business.
Don’t let your workplace become another devastating statistic. Use this guidance to keep employees safe during work from height operations:
- Work from the ground—Before requiring employees to conduct any work from height, always evaluate the task at hand and determine if it can be performed from the ground. This could entail using extendable tools rather than climbing a ladder, installing cables from the ground or lowering heightened fixtures to the ground during maintenance
- Minimise the risks—If working from the ground is not possible, it’s crucial to implement proper safety measures that reduce the risk of falling from height. This includes evaluating the heightened work surface to ensure stability, installing guard rails, requiring employee safety training and providing adequate equipment (e.g. mobile elevating work platforms, scaffolds or fall restraint systems).
- Limit the impact—In addition to minimising work from height risks, it’s also important to limit the consequences that could result in the event of a fall. You can do so by implementing a soft-landing system (e.g. safety nets and air bags) or a fall-arrest system with a high anchor point