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Working at Height Safely

‘Tis the season to be careful

The nation’s high streets are being adorned with sparkling illuminations and colourful decorations to delight shoppers as they go about their festive shopping. But spare a thought for the workers who scale the heights every year to brighten up our Christmas shopping trips.

According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), working at height remains one of the biggest causes of fatalities and major injuries, with cases commonly being falls from ladders and through fragile surfaces, such as glass roofs and tarpaulins. This makes protecting workers from the dangers of falls a priority for anyone with health and safety responsibilities.

Working at height

‘Work at height’ means work that takes place in any location or situation where a person could fall a distance likely to cause personal injury – for example, from a ladder, scaffolding or even the top of a Christmas tree.

Health and Safety legislation states that anybody exposed to risk to their health and safety should be provided with the relevant PPE. Employers must provide the correct protection measures for anyone working where there is risk of a fall.

If it is not feasible to eliminate the hazard, a PPE system must be selected and used. A Height Safety system consists of a full body harness, an intermediate attachment and an anchorage connector; it can only be used if there is a suitable anchorage point. All items should be CE certified and conform to the relevant standards (category 3 – PPE against mortal or serious and irreversible danger).

Work at height accident prevention

The HSE advises that anyone in charge of those who work at height should always:

  • Encourage workers to work as much as possible from the ground
  • Ensure workers can get safely to and from where they work at height
  • Ensure equipment is suitable, stable and strong enough for the job, maintained and checked regularly
  • Take precautions when working on or near fragile surfaces
  • Provide protection from falling objects
  • Consider and provide for emergency evacuation and rescue procedures

The HSE also advises taking into consideration the equipment or materials workers will be using before they begin working at height, to avoid overreach or strenuous, heavy tasks on ladders or stepladders.

Here’s a handy checklist to run through when you have a team that will be working from height and you want to be sure you’ve done all you can to protect them:

Contego Safety Solutions offers a broad range of height safety products to suit most circumstances and budgets, including height safety harnesses, retractable and adjustable lanyards, lines, attachments and connecting devices, tool safety accessories and helmets and tripods.

Take a look at our Height Safety Product Buying Guide for detailed information, safety guidelines and product features for working at height.

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 to discuss your requirements.