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Updated by PWC UK on Oct 20, 2015
Headline for Common Questions to Working at Height Answered
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Common Questions to Working at Height Answered

Working at height is a common practice for those in the construction or building maintenance and facilities industries, though one which causes high risk of serious injury, ill health or falls which could prove fatal. Whether you are an employee or self-employed, you must follow the Work at Height Regulations and measures put into place by law, to assess and reduce the risks of incurring a fall and preventing injury. Here we answer the common questions around Work at Height.

1

What Defines Work At Height?

What Defines Work At Height?

According to the HSE, as governing body of the Work at Height Regulations 2005, you are working at height if you work above ground/floor level, could fall from an edge, through an opening or fragile surface or could fall from ground level into an opening in a floor or a hole in the ground.

2

Why Is This Important To Discuss?

Why Is This Important To Discuss?

It has been stated that falls remain the single biggest cause of deaths and one of the main causes of major injury in the workplace. It’s therefore so important to make workers aware of the risks involved when working at height and what procedures are in place to decrease them.

3

Who Do The Work At Height Regulations Apply To?

Who Do The Work At Height Regulations Apply To?

The regulations apply to employers, the self-employed and anyone who works at height. Employers and those in control of any work at height (i.e. facilities managers contracting works at height to others), have to ensure work is properly planned, supervised and carried out by competent people. #workingatheight

4

How Do You Decide If Someone Is 'Competent' To Work At Height?

How Do You Decide If Someone Is 'Competent' To Work At Height?

People working at height need to have sufficient skills, knowledge and experience to perform the task. If they are being trained, they must work under the supervision of somebody competent to carry the task out.

5

What Needs To Be Done?

What Needs To Be Done?

It is best to avoid working at height where possible. Those working at height must report any safety hazards, use the equipment supplied properly, and follow any training and instructions unless they think that would be unsafe, in which case they should seek further instructions before continuing.

6

What Is the Difference Between Collective and Personal Fall Protection?

What Is the Difference Between Collective and Personal Fall Protection?

Collective protection is equipment that does not require the person working at height to act to be effective. Personal protection is equipment that does require the individual to act to be effective, such as putting on a safety harness correctly and connecting it.

7

When Can I Use a Ladder?

When Can I Use a Ladder?

Ladders are suitable for use at works at height when a proper risk assessment shows that equipment offering a higher level of fall protection is not required. This will be due to the low level of risk for the task and short duration of use of the ladder, or if there are existing workplace features which cannot be altered.