Factors to be considered when Performing work at Height

Published: 18th February 2011
Views: N/A

Considerations to be made when Working at Height


Height Safety Equipment

Height Safety Equipment is usually associated with two main types: general height safety and fall arrest, for example nets; and personal fall arrest, such as lifelines, harnesses and lanyards'. Fall arrest is usually equipment which is used to stop a fall when someone has fallen.

Fall arrest systems often will include a full body harness and connecting devices between the harness and the anchorage point. If a fall occurs, the full body harness distributes the impact throughout the body and keeps the worker in an upright position.

Personal fall arrest components including harnesses and lanyards' should be inspected before each use for the presence of mildew, wear, damage and other imperfections.

Fall Restraint

Fall arrest equipment can also be used to provide fall restraint which is where the equipment prevents the user from reaching the fall area.

There are actually numerous types of height safety equipment available in order to prevent accidents while working from heights, probably the most frequently used piece of equipment is often a fall restraint system, this includes a full body safety harness which is worn on the top of clothing and then tethered to a suitable anchor point using a lanyard and connector such as a karabiner. The length of lanyard preventing the user from falling over the edge on the structure from which they are working ; these systems may however end up being restricting (unless using an adjustable lanyard), but all the same significantly reduce the danger of falling provided that they are used properly, and where using an adjustable lanyard correct training is given.

Working at height in itself is dangerous.


Working at Height and Fall Protection Training

When referring to height safety it's typically thought that it means working from a height greater than 2M (6 feet), even so the most current regulations suggest that working from height includes where a fall can cause injury; that could include working from a low ladder, or standing on top of furniture, as we all do from time to time. To drive this point home a young woman known to the author was an expert climber of some the worlds tallest mountains. Yet it was falling from a low wall close to her home that resulted in her becoming a paraplegic, which underscores the point " at height" is the height where a fall can cause injury.

In a Fall Protection and Prevention training course, you learn about various systems employed to achieve 100% fall prevention and protection.

Working at height safety training may also qualify you to get a working at height job (providing the training company can supply you with a recognised certificate) while giving you the relevant skills necessary to make a success of it and stay safe.

Training courses should also teach safety managers how to determine the dangers of each task and the way to correctly determine what types of PPE are necessary.

The working at height regulations were put in place in 2005 to protect employees and employers when the need arises to work at height.

Regulations 5 and 6(5)(b) says You must ensure that everyone involved in the work is competent (or, if being trained, is supervised by a competent person).

Training is not merely giving employees a copy of your company safety handbook and having them read it before beginning work at height.

Rescue of a worker who has fallen at height

Rescue of fall victims should be included in all training and job planning. Rescue must occur quickly to minimise the dangers of suspension trauma. Rescue teams, regardless of whether on- or off-site, will need to be given training. The rescue plan must provide for self-rescue by workers who stay conscious following a fall, where by their equipment enables them to get to safety.

Risk Assessment and Method Statements for Working at Height and Rescue at Height

Risk assessments, method statements, etc. should be prepared and submitted before any planned work begins on site, and needs to be read by a competent person for evaluation of their relevance and to review their completeness. Risk assessment is an implicit requirement of the UK Health and Safety at Work etc. Act (HSW, 1974) and it is explicitly required by other general and industry-specific regulations.

Risk and Hazard analysis should identify the main actions to be accomplished in sequence to perform the operations. Hazard assessments undoubtedly are a essential part of all safety and prevention programs, however is your program sufficient?


Continuous awareness of and regard for fall dangers, and compliance with all safety regulations need to be regarded as conditions of employment.

Report this article Ask About This Article


Loading...
More to Explore