On too many occasions in the last year our industry has hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons.
The injury or death of a scaffolder or tradesperson on-site is something we work incredibly hard to prevent; but the signs are worrying. The latest figures from Health and Safety Executive (HSE) highlight an increase in deaths within the construction industry over the last year, with falls from height the most common cause. Clearly as an Industry we need to improve.
Of course, we understand that working at height is risky business. Accidents are unfortunately inevitable from time to time. That being said, we truly believe that with sound preparation, and the right tools, we can keep accidents and injury to an absolute minimum.
In order to help uphold the highest of standards, we’ve listed our top 5 work at height safety tips to help keep you and your workforce working at height safely:
#1 - Understand the work at height risks
Before any activity is carried out on-site you need to identify any health and safety concerns when working at height. Perhaps this point sounds obvious, but it should be integral to every job we undertake - no matter how big or small. From preventing falls in the first place, to arresting falls should they occur, and to planning rescues. Every on-site function needs to be carefully planned from the get-go.
At Leach’s, we always recommend a full and thorough risk-assessment. This will really help you get under the skin of what risks exist, and how you can mitigate them now & in the future.
#2 - Make use of high-quality PPE
There’s nothing more important to health and safety working at height than providing your team with the right protection. But protection itself isn’t always enough...
Is your Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) best-in-class? Does it comply with the latest regulations? Does it have the right certification? It’s easy to get caught out by cheap alternatives when the price tag may be too tempting to resist but there are potential risks attached to this procurement approach:
- It may break, and you could find yourself making many repeat purchases which will cost you more in the long run.
- If it does break, buying more equipment might be the least of your concerns. What if a member of your team was injured in the process?
#3 - Regularly inspect your equipment
You may be one step ahead and already have the best PPE and scaffolding safety equipment on the market, but when was the last time you inspected it?
It’s good practice with all your scaffolding equipment to conduct regular inspections. That helmet you’ve been wearing for 5 years may’ve been the best available at the time, but is it still in good shape now? Check before you put it on again. Always make sure your equipment is fit-for-purpose before use.
#4 - Ensure regulatory compliance
It is vital you have good awareness of all the relevant legislation and regulations that are out there. It will not only help to mitigate against potential risks, but also ensure those responsible are acting in accordance with regulatory HSE guidance. https://www.hse.gov.uk/construction/safetytopics/scaffoldinginfo.htm
#5 - Never stop training
Train, train and then train again. Never stop. Training gives confidence, increases knowledge, and upskills scaffolders and tradesmen so they can carry out their work effectively with minimal risk. Training is one of the most important tools to prevent injuries on-site and even the most seasoned professionals should embrace the need for continual professional development via training & retraining, it will save lives.
Want to learn more? Leach’s is always on hand to offer the best solutions that ensure your team is working at height safely. View our range of quality work at height safety equipment, or get in touch to discuss your needs.