6 Top Tips for Safe Work at Height

1. You must plan, organise and supervise work at height to ensure it is carried out safely. Begin by assessing the risk and include the height of the task, duration and frequency and the condition of the work surface. Don’t overcomplicate things. Remember, the legislation places emphasis on the elimination of the need to work at height, but if you cannot avoid it, you must prevent falls by either using an existing place of work that is already safe, or the right kind of equipment. Where this is not reasonably practicable, you must minimise the distance and consequences of a fall through the use of collective fall prevention measures (e.g. guardrails, barriers), collective fall protection measures (e.g. airbags, nets) and individual fall prevention and protection measures (e.g. work restraints, harnesses and personal positioning techniques).
2. It is important that you follow the risk assessments that you produce, together with the hierarchy of controls: avoid, prevent, mitigate.
3. Make sure you inspect and maintain work and safety equipment as appropriate.
4. Ensure workers are provided with training and instruction in fall prevention and protection measures.
5. Only permit working at height when weather conditions means it is safe to do so.
6. Write a plan for dealing with emergencies and for safe rescue.

If work at height is properly planned and organised, you will avoid the risk of prosecution and reduce costs. Don’t leave it to chance!

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