One of the biggest causes of serious injury and even death in the workplace is a fall from height. This is why it’s important and also a requirement of your insurance policy, to comply with the Work at Height Regulations 2005.
‘Working at Height’ is working anywhere where, you could fall a distance and hurt yourself if there were no precautions in place. Examples of work at height include working up ladders or on flat roofs or working somewhere where you could fall through a fragile surface or fall into an opening or a hole.
Where possible you should always avoid working from height where it is reasonably practicable to do so. However, we know that sometimes working from height will be unavoidable. In this instance, here are some dos and don’ts to help you stay safe when working at height.
make sure that you are using the right equipment for the job in hand. (If you know that you should really be using scaffolding, don’t try and make do with a ladder!)
Stand ladders on firm, level ground and always ask someone to hold the bottom for you.
face the ladder and hold on using both hands whilst climbing.
Keep both feet on the same rung when standing and working on the ladder
Wear suitable footwear with plenty of grip.
Try and over-reach. If you cannot reach to do the task in hand, the ladder is not suitable.
Carry things up a ladder with your hands – you should be holding on with both hands whilst climbing. Ask someone to pass objects to you, use a hoist or use a tool belt around your waist.
Try and carry out any work at height if you do not feel comfortable/capable or if you are not appropriately qualified for the job.