Falls from height is one of the major causes of personal injury at a workplace. According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), over 37,000 cases of non-fatal workplace injuries in 2013/14 – 2015/16 were due to falls from a height. Workers like scaffolders, painters, decorators, window cleaners etc. are all vulnerable from injuries caused due to falling from a height.
The Work at Height Regulations 2005 (WAHR) states that employers must make sure to plan, supervise and use competent workers in order to comply with the regulation. It’s also important to train the employees on correctly using safety harnesses and ensure they use the appropriate PPE before undertaking any work involving heights.
Employers could use a simple 3 step rule to reduce injuries resulting from falling from a height. The first step would be to avoid working from a height if it’s not necessary. However, if working from height is not avoidable, prevent falls by using existing place of work that is already safe. Finally, minimise the distance and consequences of a fall, by using the right type of equipment where the risk cannot be eliminated (HSE, 2016).
By using the above 3 step rule, we highlight some of the key factors to consider before working from a height and these are the following: