Wherever working at height carries a risk of injury from falling, these regulations must be respected and adhered to. Any person who controls the work of others, is an employer or is self-employed is considered by the law to be a duty holder and, as such, he or she must ensure the safety of those working under their orders.
• All work at height must be planned and organised before work commences.
• Anyone working at height must be competent, which means they must have received health and safety training specific to working at height from another competent person.
• A thorough risk assessment of the work should be undertaken prior to commencement, especially if the work is to take place on or in the vicinity of fragile surfaces.
• The equipment used must be appropriate, regularly inspected and maintained.
The regulations also stipulate that work at height should be avoided if it can be completed from ground level. If this is not possible, every effort should be made to reduce the associated risks, including providing equipment that can prevent falls or minimise the distance between the work and the ground.
Working at height causes many accidents every year, sometimes resulting in a tragic loss of life.