Working at height in any industry comes with many risks, therefore training people to use fall protection equipment properly and safely is essential. As a company, Fall-Pac offers training on the appropriate use of their fall protection systems. But what does work at height training involve?
Table of contents:
The Definition Of Work At Height
The health and safety executive defines work at height as follows;
Work at height means work in any place where, if precautions were not taken, a person could fall a distance liable to cause personal injury. You are working at height if you:
- work above ground/floor level
- could fall from an edge, through an opening or fragile surface or
- might fall from ground level into an opening in a floor or a hole in the ground
However, it doesn’t include a slip or trip on a single level. Or a slip on a permanent staircase. A fall from height has to involve falling from one level to a lower level.
Work At Height Regulations 2005
If you are an employer or you control any work at height activity, it’s your responsibility to comply with safety regulations.
The full regulations can be found on the internet. This is not the entire list. However, as part of the regulations you must ensure;
- you plan and organise all work at height properly
- anyone working at height is competent
- you assess the risks from work at height and use appropriate equipment
- if working on or near a fragile surface, you manage the risks properly
- you must properly inspect and maintain all equipment
What Are The Key Elements Of Risk For Working At Height
There are three key elements of risk when working at height, these are;
- Falling objects
- Working with heavy loads
- Working on fragile surfaces
Particularly on construction sites or at port authorities, there is the risk of falling objects. From cranes lifting and moving containers on the dockside, to workers moving bags full of heavy loads and materials across a building site.
Moreover, if you’re working on a fragile surface, such as a roof, there is the risk that you could fall through it and injure yourself. That’s another reason why fall protection equipment is imperative for working at height.
What Is The Main Factor That Causes Falls From Height
In the year 2020-2021, 142 workers in the UK were fatally injured in workplace accidents according to the health and safety executive. Over half of these were in the Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing and Construction sector.
The most common fatal accident to workers continues to be a fall from height. Within this particular year, 35 workers died as a result of a fall from height. Therefore, it’s essential that workers receive proper training when working at height.
Fall Protection Equipment
There are many different types of fall protection equipment. To start with, it includes personal protection equipment, such as helmets, high visibility jackets, body harnesses and lifelines.
The type of equipment you need will depend on the working environment and the job you are undertaking. Different factors can include lighting, weather, indoors or outdoors or even the time of day. Also, if you have to work over the edge of a building and you can’t avoid it.
Some of the equipment may seem simple, but it still requires proper training. For example, setting up a body harness so it fits a worker correctly and is safe before using. Another example is a lifeline which is made of rope or webbing and connects anchorage points for workers. To be completely safe, workers must receive training on how to secure the lifeline between points.
Fall Arrest Equipment
Fall arrest equipment works alongside fall protection safety equipment. It includes safety bags or nets to absorb the impact of a worker who is already falling.
When it comes to fall arrest equipment, an employer must consider all other types of fall safety protection first. So they must start with collective safety equipment, such as guard rails, signage and safety zones. Also, there must be training and safety advice in place. After collective safety, there is personal safety. This includes equipment such as body harnesses, lifelines, lanyards and restraint systems.
If all this is in place and you still cannot avoid working over or near a fall hazard, then an employer must use fall arrest equipment such as a safety net. Furthermore, if using a fall arrest system, this requires specific extra training in order to safely recover the person who has fallen.
Fall-Pac Work At Height Training
If you choose fall protection equipment from Fall-Pac, then you can also access training either on site or online. The training helps to comply with safety regulations as well as give workers the information they need to make safe choices while working at height. Fall-Pac training includes four main elements of advice.
How to store your Fall-Pac safety equipment matters. Storing it correctly will help to maintain the equipment and make it last for longer.
The quick-click system on Fall-Pac units makes them easy to use, but there will be full training on how to properly install safety equipment on site.
With proper training, you can ensure that the Fall-Pac units are well maintained and looked after, so they work to optimal capacity.
You can recycle a Fall-Pac unit when its natural life cycle is over. Hence you can demonstrate how your business is more environmentally friendly by choosing Fall-Pac equipment.
Conclusion: Work At Height Training
To sum up, because working at height carries a number of risks, it’s essential that proper training is in place for the safety of everyone on site. Not only for safety, but to comply with the legal requirements of health and safety regulations. An employer is responsible for the proper use of safety equipment when working at height on site. However, each worker also has responsibility for their own safety, including not causing a danger to other people.
If you need more advice on working at height training, then contact Fall-Pac today at fall-pac.com to find out more.