The latest statistics from the UK’s Health and Safety Executive (HSE) show that falls from height are still one of the leading causes of workplace injuries and fatalities. It’s clear that businesses operating within various sectors, need to ensure their employees operate safe systems of work and have a good understanding of work at height regulations to help prevent these kinds of incidents.
An article for SHP Online has been exploring the issue of falls from height and highlighted some of the steps businesses can follow to prevent them.
Corentin Barbieux, Product Manager of fall protection solutions at Honeywell Industrial Safety, spoke to the news provider about why working at height is so dangerous, and what employers can do to make it safer.
He explained that there are a host of factors that can cause someone to fall from height, noting that it only takes a split second for a serious incident to occur.
There is a variety of products and solutions on the market to help keep workers safe if they have to work at height, including the likes of barriers and netting, which is classed as collective protective equipment, as well as personal fall protection equipment such as twin fall arrest lanyards.
Mr Barbieux explained that personal fall protection equipment shouldn’t be seen as a way of eliminating the risks. He noted that equipment that’s not been properly tested or that’s attached incorrectly won’t provide the necessary protection in the event that someone falls.
Before undertaking any work at height, you should consider if you would be able to undertake the job without having the need to work at height. Of course, this kind of equipment is only useful if people are competent and trained in how to use it correctly. It’s also important to only consider this a last resort - it shouldn’t be the first way businesses introduce fall protection.
In high-risk environments, such as offshore wind, it’s particularly important that everyone has undertaken the appropriate GWO working at heights course to ensure they fully understand the risks involved working at height as well as holding the competency such as advanced rescue from height and advanced medical response to undertake related tasks at height as well as range of safety measures they can take.