Guidance for Working at Height Health and Safety
According to the Health and Safety Executive Northern Ireland (HSENI), falls were the biggest single cause of workplace fatalities in Northern Ireland from 2011 to 2016 with one third of workplace fatalities being the result of falls.
The purpose of The Work at Height Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2005 is to prevent death and injury caused by falls from height. Employers and those in control of any work at height activity must make sure work is properly planned, supervised and carried out by competent people. This includes using the right type of equipment for working at height. Low-risk, relatively straightforward tasks will require less effort when it comes to planning but will still need consideration.
The do’s and don’ts of Working at Height for employers
- Overload ladders – consider the equipment or materials workers are carrying before working at height. Check the pictogram or label on the ladder for information
- Overreach on ladders or stepladders
- Rest a ladder against weak upper surfaces. For example, glazing or plastic gutters
- Use ladders or stepladders for strenuous or heavy tasks, but only use them for light work of short duration (a maximum guideline of 30 minutes at a time)
- Let anyone who is not competent (who doesn’t have the skills, knowledge and experience to do the job) work at height
- As much work 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 emergency evacuation and rescue procedures
- Know the law and provide the relevant training for all employees required to work at height
ITS is home to the largest dedicated health and safety training facility in Northern Ireland and our courses are designed to equip your employees with the necessary knowledge to identify the hazards associated with work at height activities and the required control measures to develop a safe system of work.
Our Working at Height courses include: