23-06-2016

Well summer so far has been a bit mixed hasn’t it?! Sunshine one minute, lashing rain and thunderstorms the next. Typical! But whether it’s rain or shine, working at height is still a necessary task for many to carry out this summer. That’s why today, we’re going to be discussing working at height, and what precautions you can take this summer when choosing access equipment.

With such a variance between warm and rainy spells it might be tempting to start working at height once a shower has stopped, but depending on the surface you are working on and the equipment you are working with, this could be a great risk.

Prevent a fall

  • The first step to preventing a fall when you’re working at height is to complete a risk assessment. Look at your working conditions, how long you are going to be working at height for, how often you’ll be working, and any associated risks with erecting or dismantling equipment.
  • If you’re frequently going to be working at height, and know in advance that your working surfaces could be affected by rain, consider using low level access equipment. Low level access provides a safer alternative to ladders and is a more efficient option than access towers to increase productivity on-site. They can also be used in narrow spaces where access towers are impractical.

Minimise your risk

  • If prevention methods are unavailable to you for any reason, then you still want to minimise your risk as much as possible
  • For example, if you are working with ladders, the feet could easily slip. Your risk isn’t minimised by low height either – 60% of major injuries are from falls below head height! Make sure you have anti-slip equipment to keep your ladders firmly on the ground if you’re working with potentially slippery floors.
  • Whether or not you’re working with ladders, low level access or towers, do everything you can to prevent the occurrence of a slip or fall. Attach guard rails and toe boards, use fall prevention or safety decking systems. You don’t want to be injured when the sunshine finally makes its appearance!

 

 

Use the equipment correctly

Once you have assessed all risks and looked at the correct equipment to either prevent or minimise your risk of falling when working at height, you need to make sure you can use the equipment correctly.

  • Ensure that the person using the equipment is trained and competent to do so
  • When hiring equipment ensure you get proper hand-over instructions
  • Consider ground and weather conditions and always follow manufacturer’s operating instructions
  • If in doubt, ask for advice and/or training. Speedy supplies a wide range of training for access equipment which can be seen by clicking here

We hope that this working at height blog gives you a good introduction about how to keep yourself safe this summer if you are working at height. For more detailed information on working at height, please check out our Intelligent Safety website which has some excellent free resources to download!

Alternatively, you can explore the Health and Safety Executive website for information.

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