As an employer or anyone else who controls work at height activities, you have a legal duty to protect your employees. That includes providing adequate training, which is again part of your legal duties under The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.
Working at height means any work where a person completing the task could be injured by a fall. This covers anything from ladders, work platforms, MEWPs, through to scaffolding, guardrails and other PPE.
A variety of other legislation also requires that training is provided to those who carry out work at height activities. This includes:
The Work at Height Regulations 2005 – WAHR are there to prevent death and injury caused by a fall from height. If you are an employer or you control work at height (facilities managers or building owner who may contract others to work at height) these Regulations apply to you.
Regulations 5 and 6(5)(b) of WHAR (2005) require that: All those working at height must be competent and trained on how to avoid falling, to minimise or avoid injury should they fall as well as how to use relevant equipment.
Regulation 5 does not stipulate what a competent person is, although there is an expectation that the person has received training and instruction in the task that they are carrying out. This training should have involved an assessment of their skill level in carrying out the specific task.
Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992 – The main requirement of this Regulation is that personal protective equipment (PPE) is supplied and used wherever there are risks to health and safety that cannot be adequately controlled in other ways.
Regulation 9 states that Employers must provide information, instruction and training on the risks, use, maintenance, cleaning and replacement of equipment.
Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations – PUWER states that the risks to people’s health from the equipment they use at work is prevented or controlled.
Regulations 8 and 9 makes it clear that ‘those using work at height and all other work equipment must have adequate training, instruction and information’.
Employers and anyone else that controls work at height activities who are looking to demonstrate that they have done everything they can to ensure their employees are competent to use work at height equipment and carry out this task safely, have their employees attend a course run by a specialist external training provider. This includes companies such as Heightsafe Systems that has specialist knowledge of all aspects of work at height, including a detailed understanding of your legal obligations and how to mitigate your risk.
Specialist work at height training gives you a number of benefits, aside from the fact that it demonstrates that you have taken the necessary steps to protect your employees.
In summary, work at height training is a legal requirement and businesses, duty holders and anyone else responsible for work at height activities must:
- Ensure that work carried out at height is effectively planned, supervised and organised.
- Make sure that any individual who is involved with working at height is properly trained to a level that means they are deemed competent to carry out the task safely.
- Perform a risk assessment for any work at height activity before commencing the task.
- Have the ability to select the appropriate work at height equipment to complete the task safely.
- Ensure that all equipment is correctly tested and inspected at regular intervals (at least every 12 months, or sooner).
At Heightsafe Systems, we offer a number of training course at our specialist facility. This includes:
- Height safety awareness courses
- Identifying hazards
- Fitting PPE and demonstrating the use of systems and rescue equipment
The certification gained following completion of our training courses is valid for 3 years. Course duration varies from 1-3 days and can be carried out at our work at height training facility at our head office or on your own premises.
For more information, please call: 020 3819 7199.