Working at height is one of the prime reasons for fatalities and significant injuries. Typical situations include falls from ladders and vulnerable surface areas. ‘Work at height’ suggests working in an area where, if there were no preventative measures, an individual might fall from a distance which would lead to personal injury.

This article demonstrates how employers can take straightforward, useful actions to reduce the risk of any of their employees falling while working at height.

What Does One Have To Do

You need to ensure the job is planned, monitored and also carried out by skilled individuals with the abilities, expertise as well as experience to do the work. You should use the appropriate tools while working at height.

Have a practical approach when taking into consideration the precautions. Low-risk, uncomplicated jobs will require less energy when it is related to planning.

Control Measures

Assess the dangers first. Factors to take into consideration include the height of the task, the duration as well as the condition of the surface being maintained. 

Before working at height go through these necessary actions:

  • avoid working at height where it’s practical to do so
  • where work at height cannot be avoided easily, prevent falls by making use of either an existing workplace that is already risk-free or the appropriate tools
  • minimise the effects of the fall, by using the best tools available

For each step, take into consideration criteria that secure everybody at risk before measures that only safeguard the individual.

Combined protection does not need the individual working at height in order to be effective. Examples are temporary or permanent guardrails, scissor lifts as well as tower scaffolds.

Personal protection is a device that requires the individual to act for it to be effective. An example is putting on a safety belt appropriately as well as attaching it to a suitable anchor point.

Do’s and Don’ts of Working At Height
  • as many activities as possible from the ground
  • consider emergency evacuation and rescue procedures
  • ensure workers can go and come safely to work
  • make sure the equipment is proper, stable and strong enough for the job as well as maintained and inspected regularly
  • take precautions when working on or near delicate surfaces
  • protect yourself from falling objects
  • overload ladders – check the equipment that the workers are carrying before working at height. Also, check the label on the ladder for information on ladders or stepladders
  • rest a ladder against weak upper surfaces, e.g. glazing or plastic drains
  • use ladders or stepladders for difficult or heavy tasks, only use them for light work of short duration
  • let anyone who is not qualified (who doesn’t have the knowledge,  skills and experience to do the job) work at height