If you are involved in construction, oil & gas, or wind farm work, you will know that working at height is extremely dangerous. As a result, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has put out guidance to help businesses make the most of their hse working at height opportunities. This includes advice on equipment, planning, and training.
Whether you are a contractor or an employer, you are responsible for the safety of your employees. The best way to ensure that your staff is safe at all times is to adhere to the laws set out by the HSE. These include the rules governing equipment and safety procedures and the regulations governing fall protection systems. You also must provide a safe work environment, including ensuring no unnecessary risk from hazards such as fragile surfaces, dangerous machinery, and hazardous conditions.
To ensure that your workplace is up to standard, you must conduct work at height risk assessment. This involves considering everything from weather conditions to the nature of your work. You must also ensure that you have a proper rescue plan in case a worker falls. In addition, you should consider minimizing the potential damage that falls from height can cause.
The hse working at height outlines many duties for your company. These requirements include a detailed working-at-height rescue plan, work at height safety assessment, and the appropriate use of ladders and other equipment. Depending on your industry, you may also have a duty to carry out a safety audit, which identifies risks related to working at height.
The Work at Height Regulations also requires that you follow the manufacturer’s instructions when assembling or dismantling equipment. Similarly, you should always ensure that any personal fall protection equipment you purchase is properly inspected and maintained. Aside from regular maintenance, you should also ensure that your workers are properly trained.
Fortunately, there are many ways to mitigate the risks of working at height. There are numerous examples of these, such as using temporary warning lines made of chains or supporting props. Temporary warning lines are a short-term measure to warn of potentially dangerous situations. However, a permanent solution such as a guardrail should also be considered.
Another good way to reduce the risk of falls is to have a robust safety plan involving all workforce members. Ideally, your plan should be able to identify and eliminate all potential risk factors. Also, make sure that all equipment is correctly used and stored. Finally, remember if you cannot perform the task you are being asked to perform, you need to notify your supervisor or manager immediately.
Finally, you must take advantage of the latest safety technology. These technologies include temporary warning lines, scaffolds, and tower scaffolds. While these can be expensive, they can be invaluable in reducing your risk of falling.