Height Safety – Saving Lives In The Workplace

Falls from height are a leading cause of workplace injury and fatality. According to a 2021/22 RIDDOR (Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations) report there were 123 deaths in the workplace, the majority of which were caused by falls from height. For this reason, having the correct working-at-height safety equipment available, as well as the confidence that your workforce knows how to use it properly, is vital.

Health and Safety legislation states that any workers exposed to health and safety risks in the workplace should be provided with the relevant Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). This includes the correct protection measures for anyone working where there is the risk of a fall from height. Such measures shouldn’t only consist of the provision of appropriate working-at-height safety equipment, but also training and clear instructions on its proper use.

Construction and forestry/horticulture are two industries where height safety equipment is most commonly used, however all employers regardless of industry sector should consider the risk of employees falling from heights.

If it is not feasible to eliminate the fall from height risk, a Height Safety system, which consists of a full body harness, an intermediate attachment and an anchorage connector, must be selected and used. However, such equipment can only be used if a suitable anchorage point is located close to the work area.

What Is Classed As Working At Height?

Working at height is defined as any situation where an employee could fall any distance that would cause personal injury. The minimum height at which employees must wear fall arrest equipment is two metres.

Examples of employees working at height and therefore at risk of falls from height, include:

  • Employees working on ladders, scaffolding or flat roofs
  • Employees working in environments where there is a risk of falling through a fragile surface
  • Employees working in environments where there is a risk of falling through an opening in the floor or a hole in the ground

Working At Height Safety Equipment

The failure to provide any or the appropriate type of working-at-height safety equipment can have severe legal and reputational consequences for employers. Therefore, it is essential that employees are provided with the correct working-at-height safety equipment as required.

There is a range of working-at-height safety equipment available for a variety of applications and the use of working-at-height safety equipment is controlled by a number of industry safety standards. All such items supplied by Contego Safety Solutions are CE certified and conform to the relevant standards (category 3 – PPE against mortal or serious and irreversible danger).

We are also able to assist customers in complying with the BS 8437:2005 standard which requires certain components of fall arrest equipment to be given a thorough examination and certified for use every 12 months.

Fall Protection Programmes

When members of the workforce are working at height, employers are required by law to operate a comprehensive fall protection programme. A programme should consist of three parts:

  1. Identifying fall hazards in the workplace
  2. Selecting and providing the working-at-height safety equipment most suited to individual tasks
  3. Training employees in the proper use of working-at-height safety equipment

When carrying out a risk assessment to help prevent falls from height, always read the information manual for each item of equipment to ensure the correct use.

Our Guide to Height Safety provides details of all the standards and further information on fall arrest systems.

Contego Safety Solutions stocks a wide range of corporate workwear, protective clothing and PPE, including our WEARMASTER® range. We also provide a bespoke uniform design and manufacturing service to ensure that you get precisely what you are looking for in a company uniform.

The friendly and expert team at Contego Safety Solutions is always on hand to give advice and guidance on the right PPE and protective clothing for your needs. Contact us now on 0800 122 3323 or sales@contegosafety.co.uk to discuss your requirements.

Published on 23 May 2023

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