The Importance of Height Safety

Working from any height poses many potential risks, and in today’s climate, where health and safety is of major concern, probably due to the compensation claim culture, it is vital to understand the all the latest height safety protocols and always follow them; this will minimise potential accidents and injuries where claims could occur.

Working from height means at any height above ground level, so even standing on a chair could have implications. Height safety not only refers to the person working from a height but also objects which could fall and injure someone below, and also objects which could cause injuries on the way down if a fall does take place. This is why it is so important to carry our risk assessments before anyone works from any height, to minimise as many potential risks as possible. Questions that will need consideration include:

  • Will employees be exposed to falling objects?
  • If a fall occurs, what obstacles are in the fall path?
  • Are employees trained to work from heights?
  • Are rescue plans in place should a fall occur? Are all employees aware of these?
  • What fall protection equipment will be required?
  • Are there safe anchor points to fix the safety harness too? Are they able to take the weight and shock of a fall?
  • Is the safety equipment used in tip top condition, and meet all necessary requirements?

A fall protection program including all of the above is vital to employee’s safety.

One of the most typical problems is often caused by the person who is going to be working at a height, however small, as they often regard the wearing of height safety equipment as time consuming and inconvenient, also the phrase “I’ll be okay” or “ I won’t need it for this quick job”  is common place; another problem sometimes encountered is that the appropriate height safety equipment isn’t provided by the employer. Every one of these occurrences is not acceptable, and height safety should never be ignored by employer or employee.

There are different kinds of equipment available to aid safety of anyone working from a height, these will be looked at more closely next week.



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