Preventing falls from height

Falls from height represent sixteen per cent of all work place accidents and can have devastating effects for those involved. While some risks may be self-evident, particularly for those who work at height in the construction industry, others may be less so.

It is for this reason that risk assessments are so important in identifying potential risks as well as the measures that can reduce those risks:

• All working at height activities must be subject to a risk assessment; it has to be carefully planned and organised. Those undertaking the work must receive appropriate health and safety training for their specific tasks.

• If work at height is unavoidable, then steps must be taken to avoid falls or to reduce the risk of falls or injury. This may involve installing guard rails or working platforms, or nets that can reduce likely injuries in the event of a fall.

If employees are not required to work at height but have access to areas where there is a risk of falling, measures must be taken to raise awareness of the risks or to prevent access to such areas.

A fall from height can cause terrible injury and even death; it is simply not worth taking risks by failing to ensure safety.

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