In The UK Falls from height account for nearly a third of fatal injuries to workers. Half of fatal falls took place in the construction Industry (23 out of 46 fatal fall injuries).
The main areas where falls occurred were:-
- Falling From Height (Scaffolding and Scaffold Towers)
- Falls from mobile elevating work platforms (MEWPS)
- Falls from Ladders
- Falls when working on roofs or other structures
- Falling through Fragile Roofs
- Tools/materials falling from MEWPS or scaffolding
How should risks be assessed? The Health and Safety Executive state that:-
AVOID work at height if you can. (If you cannot then)
PREVENT falls by selecting and using the right access equipment and
MINIMISE the impact of any fall.
Basically if you are unable to avoid working at height then you can use work equipment to reduce the height and impact of any fall.
Here are some areas where the risks of working at height can be reduced:
- Inspecting Scaffolding before use and ensure toe boards are in place.
- Ensuring Handrails and Guardrails are secure.
- Airbags and netting where practicable.
- Fall arrest systems used where required. ( training in systems given)
- Workers trained to not over-reach.
- Ladders to be a last resort, and to be used for short durations only.
- Correct ladders used at all times.
- Ensure ladders are secured and at correct angle.
- Robust coverings for the fragile roof lights