6th October 2016
As producers of Fall Protection equipment, Fall-Pac knows the importance of training to support those who work at height. Working from height remains one of the biggest causes of injuries in the workplace in the UK, so this article looks at the importance of working at height training in the construction industry.
Working at height injuries
A ‘Working at height’ injury generally refers to an injury sustained as a result of working on a structure that is high off the ground. This invariably means falling from something, be it scaffold, ladders, roofs or through a fragile material that is high up. All of these are very real and common scenarios for construction workers to be around.
Protecting staff who work at height
In 2005, the UK introduced legislation aimed at reducing the number of accidents and injuries as a result of working at height. The Working at Height Regulations 2005 state that working in an environment where the employee is at height should be avoided wherever its possible. In addition, employers must do all that is reasonably possible to prevent any of their staff from falling.
The regulations also require businesses to install and use specialist equipment to prevent falls in instances where working at height cannot be avoided or removed. Where the risk of falling cannot be eliminated, fall prevention and fall protection equipment or other measures must be in place to help prevent injuries and minimise risks of falls.
It’s important to note also, that the member of staff does not always need to be the one working at height, but in fact equipment that is high up can also fall and injure those employees below – this also comes under the Working at Height Regulations.
Not only does working at height open up risks for employees, but employers themselves are liable for prosecution from the Health & Safety Executive if accidents do occur, and in especially in cases where the Working at Height Regulations 2005 have been ignored or not followed closely enough.
The importance of working at height training
Implementing Working at Height training for construction workers can help reduce the likelihood of accidents occurring when employees are working at height. It will give staff a better understanding of practices they can use to reduce the risks of falls, and to have measures in place to lessen the consequence of them happening.
Training will also cover other working from height situations, including offering guidance for structures or equipment that are in raised positions and may be susceptible to falling on those below.
A typical Working at Height training course will cover the Health and Safety laws, ensuring your staff are fully aware of what is expected of them, and the company, in this regard.
Introducing Working at Height training can educate staff about the risks with the end goal being that accidents are reduced, or even eradicated completely.
It is also important to ensure training is given on any equipment used on a construction site, Fall-Pac produce a range of Fall-Protection, Soft Fall Units, and also offer a full training on using it if required.
From a company perspective, having staff trained professionally for Working at Height will not only show a greater standard of care to it’s employees, but it can also help should a legal action be brought against the company for accidents related to Working at Height. Showing evidence that your staff have all undertaken training can indicate to the Health and Safety Executive that the company is taking steps that are reasonably possible to reduce the risks of working at height.