Working At Height

Working at height involves any work where there is a risk of a fall liable to cause personal injury. This encompasses a wide range of activities, from working on ladders and scaffolding to being on roofs or any raised work area.

It is a critical area of focus for occupational safety, requiring stringent controls and adherence to legal standards to prevent accidents and injuries.

At Green Hat Consulting we pride ourselves in being at the forefront of promoting safety when working at height.  Our commitment to health and safety is embedded in our consultancy services which we’ve designed to mitigate risks and ensure your workers return home safely every day.

Working at Height- MEWP

The Work at Height Regulations 2005 (WAHR)

Working at Height- Scaffolding

The legal framework around working at height in the UK has evolved significantly over the years, with current regulations focusing on preventing falls and injuries. The Work at Height Regulations 2005 (WAHR) is a pivotal piece of legislation that mandates employers and those in control of work at height to ensure it is properly planned, supervised, and executed by competent individuals using appropriate equipment.

Key to the WAHR is the principle of avoiding work at height where it is practicable to do so. If this is not possible, measures must be taken to prevent falls or minimise the distance and consequences of a fall. This risk assessment-based approach ensures that any work at height is carried out safely, with the right equipment and by trained personnel.

The regulations set clear expectations for employers, including ensuring all work at height is well-planned and organised, taking into account weather conditions that could endanger health and safety, and ensuring workers are trained and competent. Equipment used for working at height must also be appropriately inspected and maintained.

Working at Height: Safe Practices and Considerations

In terms of practical advice, the use of ladders and stepladders is not outright banned but must be justified through a risk assessment. They should be used for low-risk, short-duration tasks, with users receiving instruction on their safe use. Moreover, the stability of ladders and the importance of three points of contact are highlighted to prevent overreaching and falls.

Mobile towers offer a safer alternative to ladders for some tasks, with training such as the PASMA tower scaffold course available to ensure users are aware of assembly, use, inspection, alteration, and dismantling. Safety features such as guardrails, toe boards, and stability solutions are crucial components of these structures.

Regular inspections are another critical aspect of safety when working at height. These should be conducted at suitable intervals and after any significant event that could affect the safety of the working platform. Records of these inspections must be kept as part of the compliance requirements.

Working at Height - Tower scaffolding

2023 Workplace Safety:

Falls From Height Remain the Most Common Cause of Fatal Injury

Working at Height Fatalities

Tragically, falls from height claimed the lives of 40 workers last year. (British Safety Council) This number marks a rise of 11 from the previous year and surpasses the five-year average of 35 deaths.

Falls continue to be the leading cause of workplace fatalities, with a significant portion occurring in the construction industry.

These sobering statistics remind us of the real dangers present when working at height.

Mitigate Fall Risks and Ensure Worker Wellbeing

In conclusion, working at height requires a comprehensive safety strategy, underpinned by legal regulations, risk assessments, and proper training.

At Green Hat Consulting we recognise that educating and influencing safe practices plays a vital role in protecting those who work in such perilous conditions, ultimately safeguarding lives and livelihoods against the inherent risks of working at height.

Don’t let falls from height threaten your workforce. Contact Green Hat Consulting today to discuss a customised safety strategy for your company and ensure your workers return home safe every day.