Top safety tips for working at heights in construction

This post is also available in: French

UK industry blog Constructonomics has released its Top Safety Tips for Working at Heights in Construction. The six tips encourage skilled workers to stay aware, stay educated, and keep up to date on all industry regulations.

Hispanic carpenter standing on the roofing with a hammer, circular saw and a nail gunIt reads: Working at height is still one of the largest causes of workplace accidents; in the year 2012-2013, a total of 5,274 major falls from height were reported in the UK, and it was the biggest cause of fatal accidents in the workplace. Whilst working at height is essential for some construction projects, many of these accidents could be avoided with the simple implementation of proper training and the appropriate equipment. Take a look at the tips below for some advice on how to keep your workplace safe.

Familiarize yourself with regulations
First and foremost, you and your team should be aware of the current legislations surrounding your work. The latest version is the Working At Height Regulations (2005) which, along with its revisions, lays out what every employer is obliged to do regarding planning, training, equipment and much more.

Carry out thorough risk assessments
The law stipulates that employers and contractors must assess the risk of any work from height. You will need to firstly identify any hazards including risks of falls, slips and trips and any hazards related to the equipment or chemicals you are using for the job. Assess who may be harmed – some employees may be at more risk than others, and some members of the public could be at risk too.

Record the conclusions you have made, and consider what precautions you can put in place. Can you get rid of the hazard altogether? Or can you at least control the situation so that there is the minimum of risk? Plan your precautions carefully to ensure a safe working environment.

Plan access routes
From the information you have gathered in your risk assessment, you should be set to plan safe access routes to carry out your work. Remember to avoid working from height wherever possible and, where it is required, put the necessary precautions in place such as scaffolding, lifting equipment and safe landing systems.

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